New York’s Hometown Airline™ completed three playgrounds in areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy, restoring play for local children
Submitted by: JetBlue Airways
Posted: Sep 14, 2015 – 09:00 AM EST
NEW YORK, N.Y., Sep. 14 /CSRwire/ - Children deserve safe places to play in their communities. Sadly, many children across the United States don’t have that chance. Since 2005, we have worked with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit, to build 20 playgrounds across the United States and Puerto Rico, reaching more than 44,000 children by providing a safe place to play.
For nearly 10 years, JetBlue and KaBOOM! have worked together to create safe playspaces and help give children in underserved neighborhoods the playful childhood they deserve and inspire play. This partnership has successfully engaged more than 4,512 volunteers to move 29 tractor trailers containing 2,573 cubic yards of mulch for 20 playground builds.
Following Hurricane Sandy, JetBlue committed to help rebuild New York by dedicating three upcoming playgrounds for areas devastated by the superstorm. The third playground was completed earlier this month in Island Park, Long Island, following previous builds in Broad Channel and Long Beach in Nassau County, New York.
Nearly three years after Hurricane Sandy, dozens of communities in the New York metro area are still rebuilding. With essential infrastructure such as, hospitals, schools and roads being the primary focus, playgrounds and playspaces often take a lower priority. Following natural disasters, play becomes even more critical as it creates a sense of normalcy and provides an emotional outlet for kids.
JetBlue’s three post-Hurricane Sandy Builds are restoring play back into the lives of thousands of children. In Island Park, nearly 95 percent of the community’s 1,000 homes were damaged and valuable community resources such as Landgraf Park were destroyed. Since then, more than 500 children in the community were missing a valuable element important to the recovery process - play. The previous site at Magnolia Playground in Long Beach was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy and thousands of children living in the area have not had a suitable place to play since the storm. Additionally, the Broad Channel Athletic Club experienced water rising up to nine feet in their clubhouse, causing the facility to lose virtually everything in the storm. The Club serves more than 900 children every year and 95 percent of those children lost their homes and playspace due to Hurricane Sandy.
When a natural disaster affects a community, the resulting trauma resonates among the survivors, especially children. The anxiety and fear that follows a disaster can be troubling for them. Some may regress or become withdrawn and school performance may suffer. There are several ways to help alleviate the emotional stress for children, including increasing access to play, which has been proven to help relieve their tension. Kids aren’t playing enough today and the consequences are devastating, only one in four children gets 60 minutes of physical activity or active play each day.
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