I had the opportunity today to be a part of an announcement today in New Orleans that we are joining together with The Allstate Foundation and The Injury Free Coalition for Kids to launch a 3-year initiative to try and raise funds for playgrounds for the children of New Orleans. This is part of our endeavors in the “Rebuilding Dreams in New Orleans” campaign with Saints’ QB Drew Brees and his Brees Dream Foundation.
Drew and his wife, Brittany, joined us today at Lyons Park off Louisiana Ave. to show his support for the renaissance we are striving for. Other highlights from the press conference include:
Larry Barabino, Jr. (Director of the New Orleans Recreation Department)
- The Lyons Center and park have always been the center of this community
- It is no secret that it and other NORD facilities need resources
- I am happy to announce today that the “Little Hands” playground will be built on this site as a great example of public effort and private support.
- I am pleased to be a part of this playground’s rebirth
Babs Johnson (Mother, Neighborhood Resident and Activist)
- This project came to life as a result of the desire among the mothers in this neighborhood to have a safe place for our children to play
- The playground is open to all kids all the time as a gathering spot for the neighborhood and community
- This is an example of a real grassroots recovery effort
Dennis Haysbert (Spokesperson for Allstate, Actor)
- The partnership today is constructing a safe, state-of-the-art neighborhood playground here at Lyons Park
- The playground will be built the first week of January, with a dedication on January 8, 2008
- This is the first of several planned “Little Hands” playgrounds in New Orleans – the partners today have a goal of at least 5 new playgrounds over 3 years – based on support from individual and corporate donors
- We are committed as a foundation and its collaborators to have results-oriented recovery projects
We agreed to work with The Allstate Foundation because of their commitment to accountability and results, just like Operation Kids. There is a lot underway with this initiative to showcase the work being done on the park. I look forward to blogging about it as it begins to take shape.