KaBoom!

Mar 27, 2009

KaBoom!

I can’t go much longer without mentioning an amazing partnership we have in the United States.

It’s with an organization called KaBoom! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the official name), which provides resources for volunteers to build a playground in a single day.

Amway partnered with KaBoom! for the first time a couple of years ago in order to provide a volunteer opportunity for our manufacturing employees.

Why manufacturing employees? Well, office workers can leave their desks and their work is waiting for them when they return. But manufacturing employees can’t leave the lines, so they don’t have as many opportunities to participate in volunteer events.

Our leaders recognized that manufacturing employees needed a customized volunteer opportunity, and felt the time off was worth it for a good cause. KaBoom! is a perfect fit.

So here’s how it works. Amway sponsors a playground build through our One by One campaign. But we really don’t know where and when it will be. We offer a few suggestions based on the places we’ve seen that could use some help, but KaBoom! staff takes the lead by doing extensive research to figure out where the need is, how many children a playground will serve, what the zoning requirements are, etc.

Then KaBoom! identifies a community partner that agrees to raise a small portion of the funding, provide volunteers and enter into the planning process with Amway. It is usually a school, a neighborhood association or a local nonprofit.

Once we announce the upcoming build and set a date, we hold a Design Day with children from the neighborhood, where they use crayons and markers to draw their dream playground. We use those drawings to pick out the colors, design and playground components. Some of them want swimming pools or trampolines or working airplanes. So sometimes we just have to use themes.

On build day, about 200 people – employees and community members – show up and are split into teams. Then, under KaBoom! management, we spend the day building. It is an incredible experience. Think teamwork … sweat … laughter … dancing.

By the end of the day, you cut the ribbon on a brand new playspace.

So far, Amway has built 3 playgrounds in Grand Rapids, Michigan near our headquarters and one in Buena Park, California, close to the Nutrilite Center for Optimal Health. We have three more scheduled for this year – two in Grand Rapids and one in Lakeview, California.

There is a great story behind our Grand Rapids build coming up in June. It involves Girl Scouts raising money for much-needed updates for a city playground, and Amway and Kaboom! stepping in to help. Click here to see an article in our local paper.

We’ll share some photos of design day and build day once they get closer. And if you are in Grand Rapids on June 19, stop by and check it out!

  • 2 Comments

    • TWS says:

      I think its great that Amway Global helps facilitate these opportunities for their employees. I'm sure there's a lot of planning/organizing that goes on behind the scenes, and for someone to be able to contribute their time would be a great experience. The One By One campaign is a great program and doesn't seem to be talked about enough in my opinion.

    • Guest says:

      Nice work in-deed..

      Please Keep me posted.

      Thank you

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