New England Patriots, UnitedHealthcare Build Playground at Dexter Training Ground Park in Providence
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Oct. 11, 2011) Today more than 100 UnitedHealthcare employees and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation, which includes Patriots players and their wives, will team up with local volunteers to build a playground at the Dexter Training Ground.
The volunteers are working with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that has helped build more than 2,000 playgrounds in communities throughout the country. In addition to traditional playground equipment, the new 3,500-square-foot play space will include several fitness stations. The playground design incorporates elements from drawings Dexter Training Ground schoolchildren created during a recent "design day."
"This project perfectly encapsulates our mission to promote healthy lifestyles to children and our season-long effort to 'Celebrate Volunteerism,'" said Josh Kraft, president of the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation. "The playground will enrich the lives of children on Providence's west side and demonstrate to all involved the benefits of volunteering. We value our partnership with UnitedHealthcare and are excited to build our second playground with them."
"Having plenty of safe, outdoor places for our kids to play is important to our city," said Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. "I am thrilled our Parks and Recreation Department is teaming up with UnitedHealthcare and the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation."
"The new playground will give our West Side children the opportunity to interact with their peers and help them develop both physically and socially," said Kari Lang, executive director, West Broadway Neighborhood Association. "Having a safe area for physical activity and creative play that is designed by our children, and built by UnitedHealthcare, the New England Patriots and neighbors is special. Especially meaningful is the care taken to incorporate the design into the context of this historic park which is situated next to the nationally renowned, castle-like Cranston Street Armory. Not surprisingly, the children thought of castles when they designed the playground."
The playground build is the latest in UnitedHealthcare's "Do Good. Live Well." initiative a campaign to inspire service and encourage volunteerism in communities where UnitedHealthcare employees live and work. UnitedHealthcare has also built playgrounds for children in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Austin, Texas, Dallas and Waltham, Mass.
"Our employees are excited to build a playground where the children of Providence can play and enjoy the outdoors," said Tom Paul, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement. "Evidence suggests volunteering gives greater meaning to life, increases healthy behaviors and decreases stress and tension. Doing good benefits the children who will use this playground and benefits our employees as well."
According to a 2010 survey released by UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch, 84 percent of respondents agreed that volunteering improves physical health, and 95 percent agreed volunteering improves emotional health.
For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or "like" Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
New England Patriots Charitable Foundation
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit entity created by the Kraft family to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. The Foundation's primary goal is to support programs that aid the youth and families of New England while underscoring the Kraft family's deep commitment to philanthropic activities in the community. Over the past 17 years, the Foundation has made millions of dollars in donations to thousands of non-profit organizations throughout New England. The Foundation actively supports non-profit groups focusing on health, education, youth fitness and community enrichment while also implementing its own programs in those areas of focus. In 2011, The Foundation's "Celebrate Volunteerism" initiative aims to recognize deserving volunteers and inspire others to follow Myra Kraft's example of becoming a life-long volunteer.
About the West Broadway Neighborhood Association (WBNA)
Established in 1983, the West Broadway Neighborhood Association organizes neighbors and businesses on the West Side of Providence to preserve and promote their diverse, historic, urban community as a safe, vibrant and sustainable place to live, work, and play.
About Providence Parks + Recreation Department
Under the direction of Mayor Angel Taveras and the Board of Park Commissioners, the Providence Parks and Recreation Department provide opportunities for recreation, physical fitness, cultural enjoyment, and community building for all Providence residents in clean and safe spaces. The Department has over 100 park and recreation spaces including playgrounds, ball fields, pools, water spray parks, recreation centers, tennis and basketball courts, walking tracks, and community gardens.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country.