More volunteers, more playgrounds

May 08, 2009

I asked Michelle Meulendyk from our Corporate Citizenship department to tell me about the KaBoom! playground build in California last week. Here’s her story:

It’s hard to believe that only a week ago I was pushing a huge ice chest around in a wagon handing out eSpring bottles of water to volunteers. They were mixing concrete by hand, moving mulch by the tarp full, digging hole after hole and painting games on the blacktop.

This was a sight to see! It was playground “Build Day” at Valley View Elementary in Nuevo, California.

One hundred and fifty Amway employees from our Nutrilite facility stepped off the production line and joined forces with parents, teachers and others living close by to build a playground in one day. Yes, just one day.

The day started with a great breakfast (thank you parent volunteers), a quick warm up and it was off to work.

It was a scene of excitement, pride, team work and transformation. As I went from group to group, I’d hear comments like, “how can I help” or “great job team.” And as expected in a construction zone, “watch your step.”

I even heard one person from the community offer a job to another after observing how hard he was working.

At 2:30 pm when the playground was finished, shade structures were in place, and the paint on the blacktop began to dry, the students flooded the group of volunteers with thank you cards in hand.

I couldn’t help getting teary-eyed at the excitement in their eyes and be thankful that I’m able to work for a company that has it values of freedom, family, hope and reward hard at work.

Oh, and did I mention this was our fifth playground build?  (-:

Before Playground

Building Playground

Playspace Updates

Finished Playground - Concrete Drying

Finished Playground - Happy Kids

For several years, Amway has partnered with KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization that has a vision of “a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.” We have worked together to build five playgrounds – two in California near Amway’s Nutrilite facilities and three (soon to be four) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. – Jesse

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