BURLINGTON, N.C. – Call it an extreme makeover of the playful kind.
On September 28, more than 300 volunteers from National Agents Alliance, Foresters, Elon University and several other area businesses constructed a top-of-the-line playground for the Burlington Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club.
The new playground provided a complete face-lift for the exterior of the club, as the volunteers also planted flowers and built park benches, picnic tables and shade structures.
“The old playground was all rusty and yucky,” said one of the club’s afterschool participants. “I can’t wait to get out there on the new playground, to go down the slides, to climb on the rock-climbing wall. I just can’t wait.”
Sherri Henderson, director of the Boys and Girls Club, said the club’s children have been eagerly anticipating this day. “To see it all come together is incredible,” Henderson said. “This means so much to our kids. It will be a daily reminder that people do indeed care about them.”
Being able to demonstrate that spirit of caring was one of the reasons National Agents Alliance got involved in this project, said Andy Albright, one of NAA’s owners. National Agents Alliance is a national organization that assists life insurance agents by providing training and strategic marketing support. The company’s headquarters is less than a mile from the Boys and Girls Club.
NAA agents and staff made up more than 100 of the project’s volunteers. Many of the agents traveled from throughout the U.S. to participate in the building of this playground.
“Selling life insurance is not about making money; it is about helping people,” said Alex Abuyuan, an insurance agent from Ohio who helped assemble the playground. “…This is just a very simple way we can give back to the community and demonstrate that we are here to help.”
Foresters, a membership-based financial services company, and National Agents Alliance provided the corporate sponsorship for the new playground. KaBoom!, a national non-profit organization, organized the build and provided the planning to ensure that the project could be completed in one day.
Elon University’s Alpha Xi Delta sorority also provided volunteers and helped raise funds for the club’s facelift.
“To be able to build a playground in one day truly takes a team effort,” Albright said.
The Boys and Girls Club offers a safe environment for at-risk children and youth ages 6 to 18. Currently, 100 students are enrolled in the club’s afterschool program.