KaBOOM! volunteers build a playground in September. (Facebook/KaBOOM!)

KaBOOM! volunteers build a playground in September. (Facebook/KaBOOM!)

Three groups who believe in the importance of play in children’s lives are joining to build a playground for underserved neighborhood kids.

Friday morning some 200 volunteers provided by Target are expected to gather at the Willow Pond Apartments, located on Abrams near the Dallas Children’s Theater, to build a playground for the hundreds of children and families living in the large northeast Dallas complex, which offers low-income housing.

A playground is more than a playground,” note organizers and donors including charities Behind Every Door, a Christianity-based ministry that aims to transform underserved neighborhoods with Jesus love, and KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit that “brings play” into the daily lives of children living in poverty, along with corporate sponsor Target (which has two stores in walking distance of the property).

“A playground is a brain-expander, friend-maker and muscle builder,” they continue via a press announcement. “It can transform children from sedentary, bored and solitary to physically, mentally and socially active.”

The children at Willow Pond, about 500 of them, do not have easy access to a safe play area, playground proponents such as Behind Every Door’s Will Dowell says.

“They do the best they can with a small basketball court and grassy area next to the nearby Home Depot.”

With various partners, KaBOOM! has constructed some 16,300 playgrounds around the nation since its 1996 inception, and spokesperson Lucy Nutting notes that playgrounds like the one coming to Willow Pond “give kids the childhood they deserve, filled with balanced and active play so they can thrive.”