McDonald’s, through the McDonald’s Foundation, today announced a new partnership with KaBOOM!, a national non-profit that envisions a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. McDonald’s President and CEO Don Thompson made the announcement at a playground build at the South Side YMCA in Chicago at 63rd and Stony Island Ave.
Thompson shared the company’s vision for future community engagement at the event, along with its continued commitment to children’s play and well-being. Thompson was joined by Darell Hammond, KaBOOM! CEO, Dick Malone, YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago CEO, Kate Maehr, CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and more than 200 volunteers who built the community playground. Approximately 600 area children will benefit from the playground. Many VIPs attended the event including Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. of the Rainbow Push Coalition, Dr. Juan Andrade of the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute and former NFL player Antwaan Randle El.
In addition, The Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, a program of Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana and operated in partnership with Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital, provided health screenings and dental education to children in attendance.
“McDonald’s and Ronald McDonald House Charities are committed to serving children and families through community-based programs, especially those like KaBOOM!, which emphasize play and a welcoming environment,” said Thompson. “This partnership with KaBOOM!, the YMCA, and the Greater Chicago Food Depository is about working together with the community to create something lasting and impactful for future generations.”
“Despite its many benefits for children and communities, play is on the decline across the country, particularly in the neighborhoods that need it most,” said Hammond. “McDonald’s is helping to bring play to thousands of children across the country and we are grateful for their support.”
The Greater Chicago Food Depository, in conjunction with the YMCA, will help provide nutritious meals and other children-related programming after the construction of the playground.
The first “Play Day” at the newly-built playground will take place Friday, Aug. 24. The YMCA, the Greater Chicago Food Depository and McDonald’s will be on-site to provide meals, activities and programming for attendees. Advocate Hope Children’s Hospital will provide health and dental hygiene demonstrations.
McDonald’s Foundation and KaBOOM! will soon announce eleven additional playgrounds to be completed within the next year at locations across the U.S. The KaBOOM! community-build process is a model that empowers communities to improve their neighborhoods through:
- Building the skills and confidence of community members;
- Jumpstarting and supporting local relationship-building and the development of a volunteer base; and
- Inspiring continued community involvement.
McDonald’s is the world’s leading global foodservice retailer with more than 33,500 locations serving approximately 69 million customers in 119 countries each day. More than 80 percent of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local men and women.
McDonald’s USA, LLC, is the leading foodservice provider in the United States offering a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to more than 26 million customers every day. Nearly 90 percent of McDonald’s 14,000 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local businessmen and women. Customers can now log online for free at any of the 11,500 participating Wi-Fi enabled McDonald’s U.S. restaurants.
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this play deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! in 1996 in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 90,000 places to play, built more than 2,100 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level.