When my wife Liz and I showed up on a recent Saturday at the Dublin elementary school with our 10-year daughter Daisy, here’s what we saw: A large open area where the old swings and slides had been, dozens of huge cardboard boxes full of unassembled playground equipment, a table spread with thousands of nuts and bolts and dozens of wrenches, and 20 of our neighbors ready to work.
Three days later, the space had been transformed into a stunning new playground for our community’s kids that had them jumping for joy. And swinging. And spinning. And climbing.
So many people pitched in to make this minor miracle happen. The funding to buy the cool equipment came from scores of donors, including several generous grants through the Foundation and an appropriation from the town. Every piece was put up and put together by the volunteers who showed up. The pizza place fed us, the store provided cookies, a local band played during the ribbon cutting. Talk about the power of many.
Neighbors coming together in Dublin to build a playground. (Photo by Dick Ober).
And talk about the passion of one. As with most great community efforts, one person’s vision and energy and patience pulled it all together: Emily Bennett, a mom who lives in town with her husband and kids.
In this space I usually write as the president of this remarkable Foundation, and the topics can be kind of weighty: opioid crisis, youth opportunity gap, trends in philanthropy, workforce development, the importance of giving. But this week I was just a guy and a dad in Dublin, glad to be a part of my community.