Washington, D.C. – Today, children and families in Southeast D.C. are celebrating the creation of a new kid-designed playground at SOME Independence Place. The months-long collaboration between So Others Might Eat (SOME), Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation (MSEF), and KABOOM! culminated this week as over 150 volunteers built the new playspace that will spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for residents.
“More than18 years ago, we partnered with KABOOM! to design and build a playspace at this exact Independence Place location. It is amazing to see this project and partnership continue to grow over the years as we build another playspace for the next generation,” said Ralph Boyd, CEO and President of SOME. “Today, we have 21 families and 40 children under 18 living at Independence Place, many of whom were involved in the design and build of the project. We thank Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation for selecting our affordable housing facility. All children deserve a safe place to play, learn and grow.”
The new playspace was a collaborative effort by community members, including kids, who presented creative ideas for their dream playground during a design day in July. Volunteers from the organizations built the space over several days and helped cut the ribbon alongside staff from Monumental Sports & Entertainment and players, coaches and mascots for the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitals.
“For the last twelve years we have invested in a space for the community to convene around the joy of exercise and sport. And we are so excited to do so again today with SOME – a trusted Washingtonian care provider for over 50 years, an organization I’ve supported personally as well as through Monumental Sports,” said Ted Leonsis, Chairman and CEO for Monumental Sports & Entertainment. “Joining us in this shared sense of community commitment are the athletes, coaches, mascots and staff volunteers who have been on site to build this beautiful space. And we do this for the D.C. residents who support us every season and to leave a lasting legacy in the community for future generations.”
Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation has provided support for the new playground through its partnership with KABOOM!. Since 2011, MSEF has invested nearly $1 million and partnered with KABOOM! to build 11 playgrounds across the region with the volunteer support of more than 1,300 employees and fans.
KABOOM! is working to end playspace inequity, ensuring that kids have access to quality places to play, something that should be part of every child’s life. The new playspace at SOME Independence Place was designed with the residents’ unique needs and desires in mind and brings the District one step closer toward ensuring that every kid has the opportunity to experience the joys and benefits of play.
“Playgrounds are an iconic part of childhood. They’re not only where kids collect some of their best memories, but also where crucial skills are developed that nurture their physical, mental, and emotional well-being,” said Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!. “KABOOM! is thrilled to work with our partners to bring to life the new playspace at SOME Independence Place and ensure that kids in Washington, DC have a place designed just for them, where they can play, learn, and unlock their greatest potential.”
About SOME (So Others Might Eat)
For more than 50 years, SOME has been a trusted agent for change in the D.C. region as a leader in the effort to break the cycle of poverty & homelessness in our nation’s capital. SOME provides material aid and comfort to our neighbors in the District, helping them break the cycle of poverty and homelessness through programs and services that save lives, improve lives and help transform lives of individuals and families, their communities and the systems and structures that affect them. Learn more at SOME.org or by following us on Instagram and LinkedIn.
About Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation
MSE Foundation is committed to makin the region a better place for all by supporting game-changing solutions for our community. We fundraise, provide grants to nonprofits and rally Monumental Sports & Entertainment’s teams and fans to support and amplify the impact of community change agents. Together, we’re raising the game in the DMV. Learn more at MonumentalFoundation.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
KABOOM! is the national nonprofit committed to ending playspace inequity – the reality that quality places to play are not available to every child, especially in communities of color. Since 1996, KABOOM! has partnered with kids and communities to build or improve 17,000+ playspaces and ensure that nearly 12 million kids have equitable access to the crucial benefits and opportunities that playspaces offer. In 2022, KABOOM! launched the 25 in 5 Initiative to End Playspace Inequity to accelerate its mission in 25 high-priority locations over five years. Learn more at kaboom.org or join the conversation on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.