On Nov. 8, the Camp Fire in Northern California destroyed the town of Paradise, CA, and neighboring communities, claiming multiple lives and consuming thousands of buildings, according to Cal Fire. The wildfire, the deadliest in California history, either destroyed or heavily damaged all nine schools in the Paradise Unified School District, and left approximately 4,200 Paradise Unified School District students without a home.
While the community is seeking ways to setup new housing and schools, one thing they won’t need to worry about is a place for children to play. MRC Recreation and GameTime have decided to donate a new playground so children effected by the wildfires have somewhere to play as well as a place to escape the realities of the natural disaster.
The playground will be delivered to the school just in time for the holidays, and MRC’s local recreation designer, Kelly Oakes, is recruiting family and friends to get it installed. Kelly, who is from the area added, “I am very ingrained in this community, and care deeply for the people who live here. I’m blessed to be able to work with a company that understands the difference this can make in the lives of people who have lost so much.”
Brian Gates, Vice President of MRC Recreation with an office headquartered in New Jersey said, “In 2012, many of our homes and neighborhoods were shattered by Superstorm Sandy. We saw first-hand how play can aid as a healing factor for not only children, but adults. It was a no-brainer for us not only as a company but as compassionate individuals to donate this playground to the families of Paradise.”
Julie Kistle, Director of Facilities & Construction for the Chico Unified School District added, “After such a traumatizing event and the loss of homes, schools and community, the District is committed to providing a stable place for students to engage in active learning and fun play. The MRC and GameTime donation of a playground for a long-term temporary campus for Paradise Unified is a godsend to this community.”
The new play structure is tentatively planned to be delivered and installed during the upcoming school Christmas break.