CHICAGO, IL (April 25, 2011) – Former Covenant president Glenn Palmberg hopes people will spend 30 seconds on the Internet to help Jesus People USA Covenant Church raise $15,000 for a playground at the church’s homeless shelter.
The church’s project at Cornerstone Community Outreach is one of 10 national finalists in a contest sponsored by KaBOOM!, a nonprofit organization devoted to helping communities develop play spaces. All of the nominees submitted videos of their projects, and the top five vote-getters will each win the $15,000 prize.
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As many as 100 children living at Cornerstone Community Outreach use the playground, which is located on the ministry’s roof. The playground needs repair and new equipment as well as shading.
“They need the shading because it gets very hot up there,” says Palmberg, who volunteers his time with Jesus People.
Palmberg adds that repairing and upgrading the playground is important because “It is the only place that is safe for them in the area.”
The playground was constructed 15 years ago as a memorial to Kathleen Larsen, daughter of then Covenant president Paul Larsen and his wife, Elizabeth. Kathleen had been a volunteer working with children at the shelter prior to her death in 1996.
Since retiring as president, Palmberg has been volunteering with Jesus People to help find ways to fund needed projects. Palmberg lives at the inner-city community one week every two months.
To vote, visit the KaBOOM! website. A quick registration is required. Individuals can vote once every 24 hours through May 10.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only one in five American children lives within walking distance of a park or playground. KaBOOM! says this results in a “play deficit” that is “having disastrous consequences for kids physically as well as mentally and socially.”
KaBOOM! and the Dr. Pepper Snapple group will award 103 grants totaling $2.1 million during the next three years as part of Let’s Play—a community partnership led by Dr. Pepper Snapple Group to get kids active nationwide.