“Most brilliance arises from ordinary people working in extraordinary ways.”
I am beyond honored to have had the opportunity to participate in Let’s Play Indy, an initiative by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, on June 28. Together, hundreds of volunteers worked to pack sports equipment to donate to local organizations and build an entire playground for Emma Donnan Elementary and Middle School with the help of their partners KaBOOM! and Good Sports. But you want to know the best part of the day for me? The fact that my son got to experience and witness the hundreds of people from around the community that came together to make this playground happen for these children.
Volunteers started off the morning packing up sports equipment that was donated to a variety of groups including IPS Schools, Emma Donna, Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Parks and Recreation and the Indianapolis Police Athletic League. Over $136,000 of sports equipment was donated on Wednesday. Items included basic equipment like sports balls, jump ropes and cones but also included things like football helmets and pads for Emma Donnan’s teams. This is an amazing donation especially when you take into consideration that the national P.E. budget average is just $750. Now imagine how many kids will be impacted by the 72 donations that were made on the Let’s Play Indy!
By the time I arrived, Cohen was ready to play and I was ready to get my hands dirty and work! I mulched, painted sidewalk games and just watched in awe at the amount of work and effort these volunteers were putting forth to get this playground built. You guys – they built an entire playground from the ground up in just ONE DAY! They even built an outdoor classroom that can be utilized by the students and staff during the next school year. There were so many amazing ideas that were brought alive on this day that will truly enrich the education of the children at Emma Donnan for so many years to come.
The day concluded with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the unveiling of the finished playground. We had the opportunity to listen to several of the organizations that were involved speak about being involved in the Let’s Play Indy event but the one that resonated the most with me was the principal of Emma Donnan, Michael Dunagan. As he stood there it was obvious he had worked hard with the volunteers, making, building and preparing things for this new playground. His words expressed true gratitude and excitement for this opportunity and what it was going to offer his school. This was what the day was all about; my heart was truly touched. Dr Pepper Snapple Group provided these families and children an amazing place to play along with the tools and inspiration to make it a daily priority.