In a few months the only children’s emergency shelter of the Rio Grande Valley is expected to open.
Hundreds of volunteers took on a six hour challenge to build a playground for the children.
Valley Haven Founder Kristen Millon says, “I did not think it would actually go up so quickly. I was kind of hesitant. I’m like “six hours, that’s a lot of stuff to do in six hours.” It’s just flying by and they have done so much it is just awesome.”
Nearly 200 volunteers from across the state and the city of Harlingen donated their time to make Valley Haven a better place for children removed from their homes for neglect or abuse.
Children have to be sent to Corpus or Laredo because of the lack of emergency shelters. This December, Valley haven is expected to open its doors with a new facility and a new playground.
“We’ve done over 2300 parks. Either remodeled or built from the ground up. So this is a big deal,” says Oscar Valdez from Snapple of South Texas.
Whether it’s carrying mulch, mixing cement or preparing the burgers, everyone helped the best they could.
“One team one dream,” says Angel Ayala from Snapple of South Texas, “it’s awesome. I think it’s going to be great for the kids in the facility here.”
A project like this is unique for various reasons. For one the community came together to donate their time and resources for this project. It’s also unique because the children of the community helped design this playground. Meaning every piece of playground equipment is located where the children asked for.
Cristina Perez, Kaboom project manager says, “I came about 8 weeks ago, met with the kids, got all their ideas for the playground. That’s what we used to design the playground here.”
The kids provide their dream playground, the adults provided the labor.
Millon says, “So it’s not really just the playground. We have picnic tables. They’re actually helping landscaping and we have music to make sure we have a play environment for the volunteers so it’s not boring. We want them to have a lot of fun.
The project was completed at two thirty.
Valley Haven is still accepting donations for children such as clothing and bedding.