Two hundred volunteers from Wells Fargo and Kidz Express joined KaBOOM! nonprofit to transform an empty site into a state-of-the-art playground. Completed in just six hours, the playground serves thousands of families in the South Austin community.
The new play area is located at Kidz Express, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth community center dedicated to improving the lives of more than 100 inner city children through academic support, peer mentoring and leadership development. Kidz Express collaborated with Wells Fargo and KaBOOM! to ensure local youth have an exciting new place to play.
“Up until now, play for these kids was limited to an indoor multipurpose room and a decrepit, old playground. Having a brand-new play area will provide a fun and engaging outlet for communication, problem-solving, sharing and other critical coping skills,” says Doug Low, executive director of Kidz Express. “We’re very grateful that Wells Fargo and KaBOOM! are helping kids put play first.”
In March, South Austin kids participated in a special event where they designed their dream playground. That dream became a reality when volunteers built their new play space — inspired by their designs — in under one day.
This playground is part of a broader local effort led by Wells Fargo and KaBOOM! to create an oasis for kids to feel valued and nurture their potential.
“Wells Fargo is devoted to transforming the lives of Austin residents, and this new playground is just one way in which we hope to achieve a lasting impact on the community,” says Andrew Ruehl, community relations senior consultant. “We want these kids to feel supported and celebrated. They deserve a space to call their own — where kids can be kids.”
Since 2015, Wells Fargo has invested $100,000 each year in the Austin neighborhood. In 2018, Wells Fargo doubled its investment through United Way of Metro Chicago Neighborhood Network Initiative, bringing our total commitment to $600,000 by 2020.
In addition, Wells Fargo Illinois team members volunteered nearly 24,000 hours and contributed nearly $963,000 to nonprofits through the company’s internal Community Support Campaign in 2018. That same year, Wells Fargo donated more than $17.1 million to more than 200 Illinois nonprofits through corporate and foundation giving. More than 3,400 team members across 50 Wells Fargo lines of business serve a broad range of commercial, corporate and individual customers in Chicagoland.