From tic tac toe boards, to tire swings, to gardens and more—Minneapolis communities just cut the ribbons on three exciting new places that will help more than 6,000 kids learn and play. On Sept. 16, about 500 Target volunteers rallied together at three local sites to build brand-new playgrounds and other elements. They’re just three of the 175 unique play spaces Target plans to build across the U.S. this year as part of our ongoing work with KaBOOM! The nonprofit creates community spaces to play while inspiring kids and families to boost their physical activity—and we’re proud to count them among our recently announced wellness partners.
At Sabathani Community Center, volunteers kicked off their build event with a visit from Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges and Senator Amy Klobuchar. Along with the new playground, they added other unique elements, including an indoor track, Energi Jr. fitness equipment, and a Rigamajig building kit to help kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Across the city, volunteers also participated in builds at Waite House—part of Pillsbury United Communities, and Northeast College Prep School, where teams also built community gardens that will provide students with healthy food options. And—surprise!—our beloved mascot Bullseye stopped by each of the sites to visit volunteers and meet the kids who helped design the playgrounds.
From start to finish, our volunteers brought the play spaces to life in just a few hours. Check this photo gallery to see the builds in action:
Target is also a proud sponsor of KaBOOM!’s Play Everywhere Challenge, which empowers cities to turn everyday spaces into play areas that encourage more families to fit more play (and all the joy it brings) into their everyday lives. The program challenged applicants to submit their bright ideas for turning everyday spaces in their city into awesome places to play—even in unexpected places like bus stops, in laundromats, at grocery stores or in alleyways. A panel of judges, including Jennifer Silberman, Target’s vice president of sustainability & wellness, helped KaBOOM! select 50 winners for 2016—meet them here and read about the play spaces they dreamed up.
“The Target team is excited to help reimagine the future of play by co-creating these unique spaces with local communities,” says Laysha Ward, chief corporate social responsibility officer, Target. “We know how important wellness is to our team members, guests and communities, and we believe it begins where they live, learn, work and play. By teaming up on playground builds, programs like Play Everywhere and more, we can do our part to make a difference.”
The KaBOOM! partnership is just one way Target is committed to making wellness attainable for all. In fact, we plan to invest up to $40 million this year to organizations across the country helping communities provide kids and families more choices to increase their physical activity and eat healthy every day. Meet more of Target’s wellness partners and find out how we’re teaming up to make an impact.
The playground builds were just some of the community events taking place that day—thousands of volunteers from across the country were out in celebration of Target’s Community Day, a full day of volunteerism and other acts of kindness, as part of last week’s Fall National Meeting.
“I want to say a big thank-you to all of our incredible Target volunteers who stepped up to serve on Community Day, and who dedicate time and talent in their communities all throughout the year,” Laysha says. Check out the hashtag #WeAreTarget to see more volunteer activities team members took part in across the country.
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