Kids Around The World Celebrates 1,000th Global Playground Installation with a Build in Portoviejo, Ecuador
ROCKFORD, Ill., May 2, 2022 – Kids Around the World, a nonprofit whose mission includes bringing play to children in impoverished global communities through the installation of refurbished commercial playground equipment, today announced the completion of its 1,000th build, a playground in Portoviejo, Ecuador.
Kids Around the World has for almost three decades sought out commercial playgrounds due for removal in the U.S., refurbished them, shipped them overseas and reinstalled them in poverty-stricken communities. Supported by partner Little Tikes Commercial, which designs and manufactures innovative, commercial-grade playground equipment for children of all ages and abilities, Kids Around the World marked the 1,000th build milestone by installing a playground at Parque Forestal in Portoviejo.
A grand opening ceremony on April 29 in Portoviejo drew hundreds of people, including Manabí province Governor Juan Francisco Núñez Herrera, several Portoviejo dignitaries and team members from Kids Around the World and Little Tikes Commercial who flew from the U.S. for the event.
“These 1,000 playgrounds are the source of literally millions of joyous moments for the world’s underserved children, and we are proud to have made such an impact over almost three decades of work,” said Jeff Rosene, Kids Around the World executive vice president. “As we celebrate this day and thank our many partners, we look forward to the next 1,000 installations and our continued effort supporting kids’ physical, emotional, spiritual and cognitive development.”
Little Tikes Commercial, Kids Around the World’s partner since 2020, developed nine playground designs tied to the charity. When a customer buys one of these playgrounds, Little Tikes Commercial donates 5 percent of the list price to Kids Around the World, while offering customers 25 percent discount off that list price. Customers can also sign up for the program while creating their own designs. It generally takes about four playground purchases to fund one global installation of a repurposed playground.
“Partnering with Kids Around the World to give playground equipment a second life – and kids a better life – is the why in what we do,” said Brett Kidd, vice president of sales at Little Tikes Commercial. “Playgrounds are community anchors, and particularly so where there is little other infrastructure. We couldn’t be prouder to celebrate this milestone with Kids Around the World and champion the continued growth of this vital program.”
Rockford, Illinois-based Kids Around the World’s first build, in 1994, was in Rockford’s sister city of Brovary, Ukraine, just outside of Kyiv. “Whether in Brovary, Ukraine, or Portoviejo, Ecuador, or absolutely any community on Earth, kids deserve to play in safety and in joy,” said Rosene. “Our thoughts are with the people of Ukraine and especially its children, and we hope each child who visits one of our playgrounds knows that they are seen and supported, and that these donations were intended specifically for them.”
In March, Kids Around the World created the “Brovary Fund” to help support children and families of Brovary during the war in Ukraine. Its mission also includes OneMeal, which has provided 38.8 million meals in 20 different countries since its founding.
About Kids Around the World®
Kids Around the World, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has been building playgrounds in war-torn and impoverished communities in over 70 countries since 1994, creating environments where kids can experience hope. For more information, visit KidsAroundTheWorld.com.
About Little Tikes® Commercial
Little Tikes Commercial designs and manufactures commercial-grade playgrounds for parks, schools, childcare centers, and other places where children gather. A division of PlayPower®, Inc., Little Tikes Commercial empowers kids to flourish by inspiring wonder and developing life skills through imaginative play. Our mission is to create fun, exciting, and inclusive play spaces that instantly engage imaginations. For more information, visit LittleTikesCommercial.com.