Multimedia Storyteller
Sep 24

Building Playgrounds, Giving Back

How building a playground taught the Asurea Raleigh team the true meaning of community and teamwork

Bringing fun back

Imagine a neighborhood where children and families have nowhere to go for fun, recreation or exercise — unless they pay an entrance fee or search for it outside of their own community. At Asurea, we believe that all families should have access to the simpler things in life, such as the peace of mind that comes with being financially protected through Life Insurance and Mortgage Protection, and having safe places to play, learn and grow.

Four members of our Asurea Raleigh team — including Area Manager Fred Hicks; Sales and Business Development Manager, Tanika Jordan; and Agents Dan Larson and Lisa Hinton — even helped Foresters and KaBOOM! build a new playground on Saturday, September 12, 2015.

The build took place at the Lincoln County Family YMCA at 1402 East Gaston Street in Lincolnton, N.C. — which serves many of the families that Asurea works to protect.

From the ground up

“I’ve come to realize that you never really appreciate your team until you’ve shoveled a mountain-high of heavy, wet mulch with them!”-Fred Hicks

Most weeks, Hicks drives from home to home, helping families choose the best kind of protection that Asurea can provide. So, when he finally gets a chance to relax on the weekends, he usually spends it napping on the sofa, listening to Coltrane, and observing his tropical fish swim around in his aquariums.

“Anyone who has participated in a playground build knows it is very labor-intensive work and not for the faint of heart,” Hicks said. “It’s not exactly what you want to be doing in your precious downtime…but giving of yourself and time to be a better steward to others is priceless.”

Hicks and the team were among more than 100 volunteers who wielded power drills, rakes, shovels and heavy-duty work gloves to erect the new playground in less than eight hours!

A group of volunteers building a playground. Life Insurance


The new playground features structures that you probably didn’t have as a kid, including:

  1. Trippple Racer Slide (a three-row slide that up to three kids can use at once)
  2. Sky Swivels (a monkey bar-like structure with wheels instead of bars that turn based on kids’ movements as they swing from wheel to wheel)
  3. Sky Arch (a new take on monkey bars)
  4. Playdozer (a bulldozer on stilts)

A serious need for play

With KaBOOM! and Forester’s help, more and more communities are getting the play spaces that kids need to really stretch their limbs and feed their minds.

But there’s a serious side to play, too.

“Make-believe sparks the imagination and teaches problem-solving skills,” according to KaBOOM! “Running, jumping and climbing get legs moving and hearts pumping. And exploring playgrounds with families…helps kids learn to work together, collaborate, and share.”

Besides, humans have always been much better at expressing themselves through playful rather than work-related acts, according to a recent interview in the American Journal of Play with Thomas Henricks, a play theorist and sociology professor at Elon University in Elon, N.C.

“Play is not some special activity set apart, but one of the most basic things that people…do,” Henricks said.

Simply put: All work and no play makes for a very dull community!

Wet mulch builds teams

A man pushing a wheelbarrow of wood chips. Life InsuranceWhat better a way to combine both work and play than to build a playground with your colleagues?

“We work together all day,” said Hicks, referring to his Asurea Raleigh team. “But I’ve come to realize that you never really appreciate your team until you’ve shoveled a mountain-high of heavy, wet mulch with them!”

Map it out

Want to see the local play places near you? Check out KaBOOM’s “Map of Play.” You can search within any city and see all of the traditional playgrounds and parks, in addition to play areas in local malls, water parks, indoor pools, dog parks, YMCA/YWCA locations, recreation and community centers, picnic areas and skate parks!

Support the cause

It’s gratifying to help build a playground with your own hands, but it could be equally satisfying to donate money to KaBOOM’s cause. A non-profit organization can be the beneficiary of your Life Insurance. You can support KaBOOM! by giving all (or some) of your life insurance proceeds to them. Contact Asurea about how to make this happen!

Stay connected

You can stay connected with KaBOOM! in the following ways:

  1. Subscribe to their newsletter.
  2. Like their Facebook page.
  3. Follow their Twitter Tweets.
  4. Get ideas for play for the children in your life on their Pinterest page.
  5. Have a playground built in your community by following these directions and guidelines!
  6. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, stop by the Lincoln County Family YMCA in Lincolnton, N.C., and see the playground for yourself!

Make a difference with Asurea

As you can see, Asurea doesn’t just talk-the-talk when it comes to supporting their communities. Not only is does our product line provide families with financial support and peace of mind in the worst of times, but we are constantly looking for fun and new ways to get involved with our communities and make a positive impact. If you are curious about how Asurea can help your family, or if you are looking for a unique and rewarding career, then contact us today!

About the Author:
Angela J. Bass is a multimedia journalist from Oakland, California.

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