JOPLIN, Mo. — Children’s Haven is unveiling its newest addition. It’s called the “Playground Project.” It’s giving kids more space to play and added security features like lighting and fencing.
“Our playground campaign has been going on for six years. It’s been a long time and we are so thrilled the kids are able to come out here,” said Stephanie Theis, Children’s Haven Executive Director.
Children’s Haven held a ribbon cutting Tuesday afternoon for its fenced in play yard — complete with basketball courts, volleyball courts, and a water feature.
“It’s really important that we make our kids feel at home here. That we show them that they are loved and valued and we want them to not be stressed. So just have a space that’s safe and they are able to run and roam is really important for them,” said Stephanie Theis, Children’s Haven Executive Director.
The nonprofit provides a temporary shelter for kids whose families are going through a crisis.
“Schreiber’s was our largest donor and they hold a golf tournament and are huge supporters of our campaign. A lot of community members and groups and foundations just stepped up and wanted to be a part of making this legacy for kids,” said Theis.
The youngest donor was 14-year-old Alex Brady. During the pandemic he sold paintings and orgami to raise 1,400 for the project.
“I knew at the time of the pandemic that a lot of people were struggling. And I knew that families and kids especially that didn’t really have as many resources needed more care than anyone. So I wanted to help out in any way that I could,” said Alex Brady, Playground Project Donor.
He decided to donate his proceeds after volunteering at Children’s Haven.
“It’s a really comforting place and trust them because they 100% know what they’re doing,” said Brady.
The expansion cost $400,000.
The nonprofit helps up to 30 kids a day and estimates this expansion will benefit 500 children in the community.