Volunteers Build Dream Playground for Youth Villages Children

Volunteers Build Dream Playground for Youth Villages Children

More than 200 volunteers gathered to build a new playground for kids at the Youth Villages Bartlett campus Friday morning.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - More than 200 volunteers gathered to build a new playground for kids at the Youth Villages Bartlett campus Friday morning.

Youth Villages is a residential treatment facility that serves emotionally and behaviorally troubled children. The volunteers are from the McDonald's Foundation, national organizers from Kaboom and Youth Villages.

"We're working with a national organization called Kaboom that is really focused on doing these types of projects for kids across the country. They want to bring play back into kids' lives, make sure that kids are growing up having a healthy lifestyle," said Richard Shaw of Youth Villages.

The new playground includes 3 slides, a rock climbing wall, a jungle gym, ball toss and more.

"It was a natural for me to come out and volunteer. You volunteer for a lot of reasons, but one of the good reasons, I guess kind of a selfish reason, you feel so good when you see something like this is completed. You see the kids out here playing on it," said volunteer Henry Boyd.

This new playground will provide more than 300 children with Youth Villages a safe place to play.

Today's kids spend less time playing outside than any previous generation, partly because only 1 in 5 children live within walking distance of a park or playground.

"We talk about our young people are technologically savvy. They have their iPhones. They have their Androids. They're very much plugged into social media, but I also want to remind them being technologically savvy is great but you have to be healthy. You have to be active and this is a good place to start," said McDonald's owner Darrell Byrd.

Volunteers say the playground only took 6 hours to complete and was then followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony dedicated to the new play area.
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