Over the weekend, more than 225 volunteers descended on the neighborhood of Napier in Southeast Nashville to build another KaBOOM! playground in a Delta Community.
The playground, the 11th built by Delta in partnership with KaBOOM! and the first in the Nashville area, creates a play space for more than 800 kids who live in the neighborhood – just a few miles from the Nashville International Airport.
Project teams were created from Delta, KaBOOM!, the local community and host Harvest Hands to construct playground equipment, mix and pour concrete and shovel and spread mulch to transform a barren, undeveloped lot into a haven for safe play.
“It’s great to see so many Delta employees from literally around the globe rally to help local communities,” said Tad Hutcheson, Managing Director – Community Affairs. “Harvest Hands and KaBOOM! have been great partners throughout this design and construction process.”More than 150 Delta employees came from 20 cities, including five stations in Tennessee, and as far away as Toronto, Los Angeles and even Singapore.
For ramp agent and nine-year Delta veteran, Chris Woodruff, the build was very personal, as he was born and raised in the community without a safe place to play.
“When I heard Delta was building a playground in my old neighborhood, I was the first one to sign up,” said Woodruff. “This means so much for the kids because it gives them a feeling that someone outside the community really cares for them. Now, when I come here and see the kids on the playground, I will have pride that my company helped to make this a better place.”
Despite intermittent rain showers, spirits and productivity remained high thanks to a local DJ who played music while the teams worked throughout the day.
“We’re grateful to Delta and KaBOOM! for coming to this neighborhood and building a safe place for kids to play,” said Nashville Mayor Megan Barry. “When kids are active, they’re healthier and we need to be healthier in Nashville.”
As part of the ceremonies, Delta presented Harvest Hands a surprise check for $10,000 to support building a fence around the playground.
The end of the celebration brought to a close months of preparation, which included the participation of the kids themselves.
In April, kids from Harvest Hands, a social enterprise nonprofit located in Nashville, met with Delta employees to plan for their dream playground. The “Design Day” gave kids the opportunity to talk to Delta and KaBOOM! about what they would like to see in their new playground. The features and equipment for the playground were ultimately selected using many of the kids’ ideas and drawings.
This year Delta will build nine playgrounds with KaBOOM!. Its first was on April 30 in Los Angeles and the next build is June 11 in Detroit.
KaBOOM! is the national nonprofit dedicated to giving all kids – particularly those growing up in poverty in America – the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play so they may thrive.
As a focus city for the airline, Delta is committed to investing in the Nashville through a variety events and partnerships. In May, Delta hosted an exclusive concert event for several hundred local SkyMiles credit card members and their guests, featuring Lukas Graham.
Delta operates flights from concourse B of the Nashville International Airport, and over the past year has upgauged service by almost 15 percent, now offering customers 30 peak day departures to nine destinations. In April, the airline renovated the Delta Sky Club, giving it a refreshed look with the latest food and beverage amenities.