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Kids design a new Salvation Army playground

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“I have a swing, a slide and a swimming pool.”

That’s how nine-year-old Leila described her dream playground. She was one of a dozen kids from The Salvation Army’s E. Claire Raley Transitional Living Center who participated in a “Design Day” on August 7.

The event, hosted by PG&E, The Salvation Army-Sacramento and organizers from KaBOOM!, allowed the children to draw their ultimate dream playground. Elements from the drawings will be incorporated into the final design for a new playground to be built by volunteers on October 6 at the Transitional Living Center.

“We like to say that the kids are the play experts,” said Katrina Hill, KaBOOM! associate project manager. “They are the ones playing in the playground, so they know everything that we need to know to design the best playground possible.”

KaBOOM! is a national nonprofit organization that specializes in building playgrounds throughout the country. Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to bring together business and community interests to construct more than 1,500 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across North America.

This upcoming project was made possible because of PG&E, which is the corporate sponsor of the playground build.

“We are so appreciative of PG&E for its generosity and support, “said Major Ray Yant, Salvation Army Sacramento County Coordinator. “I know this playground will be used by countless amounts of children, and it will be another way to help the families in our program.”

The new playground will be a boost for the families in the Transitional Living Center, a 34-unit complex that assists local homeless families with structured programs and an opportunity to live in a unit from six months to two years.

“The playground is just what we need,” said John, a program participant and the father of Leila. “The kids here need a place to play where the parents know it’s going to be safe.”

This will be the second playground built for The Salvation Army in the last three years. In 2009, a play structure was constructed for the after-school program in the Oak Park area.

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