Mar 10, 2011

Hot Charity for Grandparent's Donations and Volunteers...Kaboom (not the cleaning product)!

Have you ever gone shopping for a coat and come home with a set of sheets? That is kind of what happened to me this morning. I was out on my web, hanging by a thread, looking for my bliss. I was searching for an inspiration that would let me write about retirement.  I didn't find retirement but I did find a place that inspired me.  AARP Volunteers sit up and pay attention!  That place on the web is called Kaboom!  (At the bottom of this page you can follow my trail to a place called Kaboom!)  


KABOOM--why play matters AND how to fill the play deficit???? 
Kaboom is a non-profit organization with several functions.  One of those functions is to help parents/grandparents and communities organize to build play grounds for children in neighborhoods that are short of money but need a safe place for children to play. I found this question on the ask.metafilter.com website:
My daughter's public charter school, housed in a converted bowling alley with a small asphalt play area, has just received a KaBoom! grant to design and install a "dream playground." We're very excited! 
...Help me generate ideas for, and find images of, absolutely amazing creative, educational, inspirational and physically stimulating play spaces suitable for daily use by 250 kids in grades K-8! tidycat 
Kaboom I thought...what is that?  This is what I found.  The organization giving the grant (Kaboom) was founded by a man saddened by the loss of two children's life in a "playground" of abandoned cars. Children really do climb in car trunks or refrigerators or holes in the hillside because there is just no safe place for them to play.  He knew there had to be a way for grandparents, parents and community activist to make a safe places for children to play...and he did it!  The goal is for every child to have one of these spaces within walking distance of their home.  Businesses sponsor the projects and children, parents, community members work (physically) to make the dreams come true.


WHY?

Kaboom has gathered some very compelling reasons why play matters...we as grandparents will benefit from children in a healthy play environment now and in the future.  This what Kaboom had to say about play:
Physical impact:  Since play often involves physical activity, play is closely related to the development and refinement of children’s growth and fine motor skills and their body awareness.Kids who play are healthier. Kids who play are less likely to be obese and develop obesity-related health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. 
 Emotional and social impact:  Play helps kids feel more connected to their communities. Community playspaces have a positive effect on social cohesion, foster positive attitudes toward racial and cultural diversity, and help reduce feelings of isolation or exclusion.Kids who play, play well as adults. Kids who play build their confidence and learn the social skills that help them become happy, well- adjusted adults.  
Cognitive impact:  Research suggests a strong link between play and cognitive development. Play has been linked to student learning and academic performance. Play is a factor in improving attention, attitudes, creativity, imagination, memory, and so many other skills critical for learning.Kids who play do better in school. Kids who play develop the cognitive skills that are positively linked to learning and academic performance.

IN THE OLD DAYS!

We have all heard it..."I remember when we wandered all over town, and played with a shovel and a stick!  We didn't have any fancy playgrounds to play on...we can't even afford__________NOW!  Let parents provide a place for their children to play!"


I too remember a merry-go-round and hanging on for dear life.  I remember simple monkey bars and hop-scotch square made by scraping lines in the dirt.  We played with a shovel and a stick in the garden while our parents watered the plants.  We dug holes in the hillside...it scares me to think about it now because children die in cave-ins quite frequently.  I also remember no sidewalks and streets of dirt, abandoned houses and a school burned to the ground.  I remember peeping toms and child molesters and bad teachers.  The "Good Old Days" were not good.  True, I was happy and kind of safe but I would not want my children or grandchildren to go back to that place.  I returned to my home town a few years ago and found the streets lined with dead cars and garbage in front yards...that is what happened to the good old days in marginal neighborhoods where middle classed turns into slums.  If we want children in these situation to find a better life we need to find a safe place for them to play and show their parents how to make that happen.


NOW IS THE TIME!
Kaboom caught my eye because it made such good sense...donating to an organization like this, supporting schools and keeping our grandchildren safe...these are things that make everyone's quality of life better.  Great schools and safe places to play create healthy children, reduces crime and builds a better future for all of us.   I like that a lot...for me that is what "Retiring in Style" is all about!


b


Note:------------->FOLLOW THE DOTTED LINES!  gmail---->invited to link with a website----->BabyAccessorize.com link---->technorati for my bio---->back to BabyAccessorize form for link---->back to technorati to check my status (27000th on the list...share me with Technorati please)---->see who Technorati rated this morning---->click on link called Calling all Kids...and Kids at Heart! (ask.metafilter.com)----->find a website called Kaboom-----> sit up in amazement!  There it was...my bliss!
Donate:  Kaboom
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