Jason Witten pitches in to build a new playground with Target volunteers

Dallas Cowboys Star Jason Witten Joins Target + KaBOOM! Playground Build

Target teams had a lot to celebrate in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas, this week. We’ve been a part of the community since our first store opened there in 1969. Today, we have more than 11,000 team members there—and we just announced plans to invest $220 million to renovate 28 stores in the greater Dallas and Fort Worth area. It’s part of our plan to reimagine hundreds of stores across the country, and this will be our largest remodel investment in a single market in 2017.

“Dallas and Fort Worth are important markets for Target, and we’re committed to continuing to invest in the community through our stores and our work with nonprofits,” says Catherine Helm, district team leader. In 2016, for example, we gave more than $7.6 million to local organizations and nonprofits in the area.

Many of our team members also serve their communities as Target volunteers. Like yesterday, when more than 150 of our volunteers teamed up with staff, students and community leaders to build a new playground at Texas Leadership Charter Academy in Arlington. It’s part of our wellness partnership we kicked off last year with nonprofit KaBOOM!. Since then, we’ve built 186 unique play spaces across the U.S., impacting more than 465,000 kids. Through these partnerships, Target aims to help communities overcome barriers to wellness—such as access to play spaces—and help make it easier to be active or eat healthier foods.

On hand to help rally the volunteers: Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten, whose support for communities through years has made him a legend on and off the field. As Witten pitched in to help bring the playground to life, he told us a bit about why the project is close to his heart:

Why is it important for kids to get active through sports and play?
As a dad and football player, I know how important it is for kids to get out and play, be active. But with so many distractions these days, like video games, a lot of kids aren’t getting enough physical activity. By building these great new play spaces, we can encourage more kids to live a balanced and active lifestyle, and instill lifelong values that will keep them healthy and happy. The best exercise is the kind you get while you’re also having fun!

What kinds of things do you and your kids like to do to stay active together?
Staying active is a lifestyle I not only choose for myself, but also encourage for my children. My kids enjoy being at the park and we love to be outdoors together with family or friends. These playgrounds that Target and KaBOOM! are building together are the perfect place for families to do a lot of those things. 

What are some of the features this playground will have?
The cool thing is, lots of the ideas and designs you’ll see throughout the space came from the kids! I love the Super Dome—it’s a dome-shaped climber that can handle 15 kids at once! I was actually over there putting it together today. KaBOOM! play spaces also have features like gardens, fitness equipment and even building kits that help kids learn about science, technology, engineering and math.

How do partnerships like this help the Dallas community?
The work that nonprofits like KaBOOM! are doing is so important. They’re working closely with local communities to understand the needs and putting the right programs in place to help. When companies like Target step up to help them expand, it means we can make a greater impact for families in more communities. The playground we’re building today will serve about 1,000 kids in the surrounding neighborhood, including kids from the YMCA’s after-school programs, and it’s the eighth play space Target and KaBOOM! have built in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. We play our games just down the street from here and it was really special to see so many smiles on the faces of these kids today. 

Look like fun? Check out more behind-the-scenes action from the build:

Learn more about Target’s work with KaBOOM! and the rest of our wellness partners.

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