It was hot, but that didn’t slow the volunteers laboring as loud music played in the background
Eva Munoz wore a baseball hat and a bandanna to protect her neck from the sun. Sweat dripped down the side of her ears.
“It doesn’t matter,” the 57-year-old said in Spanish. “The children need it. This is to help the children, the community and this place.”
Munoz was one of about 700 volunteers who helped assemble a 4,500-square-foot playground for the Clark County Department of Family Services’ Child Haven campus. Child Haven is an emergency shelter and is typically the first place an abused or neglected child is taken after being removed from the home.
A grant from the Nevada chapter of the national organization Chicanos Por La Causa was used to help pay for the playground. The majority of the funding came from DirecTV, which brought in 450 volunteers from across the country who were in Las Vegas for a conference.
A national organization, KaBOOM!, which helps communities build playgrounds, helped coordinate the efforts.
In early February, a group of 27 children and youth who have been adopted or are in Family Services’ Independent Living Program, were brought together to design their ideal playground, said Mari Parlade, manager with Family Services.
A group of adults then selected the best playground that would offer something for children of all ages, she said. Other projects that were going on at Child Haven on Tuesday included the painting of wall murals and a bike repair project.
It helps “to really bring this campus to life,” Parlade said Monday.
In June 2012, the Southern Nevada Health District restricted the use of a playground at Child Haven because of changes in standards that required modifications, said Samantha Charles, a Family Services spokeswoman. There wasn’t funding available at the time to bring the playground up to standards.
The top three features that the new playground will have are a zip line, a rock climbing wall and a triple slide, Parlade said.
“I think they’ll really like the playground,” said Jack Rosenstein, 10, who lived at Child Haven before he was adopted six and a half years ago. He was one of the 27 children who took part in the design effort.
Rupert Ruiz, president of the Nevada chapter of Chicanos Por La Causa, said the organization is about empowering families and improving children’s lives.
“What a better way to show the kids that we care about them,” he said of everyone coming together to build the playground. “I think it’s going to send a message — the community cares.”
Contact Yesenia Amaro at email@example.com or 702-383-0440. Find her on Twitter: @YeseniaAmaro.