Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

CASA site to get new play area

ST. PETERSBURG — A brightly colored playground can provide more than just recreation. It can help rebuild lives, says Linda Osmundson, executive director of the local nonprofit Community Action Stops Abuse.

This week, dozens of children living at a shelter for battered women will have a new play area, thanks to the sweat of hundreds of volunteers and $75,000, most of which was given by a private corporation. The playground will be a needed upgrade for a 14-unit apartment complex opened by CASA in 1998.

"Domestic violence victims haven't had a happy life," Osmundson said. "One of the things we notice is that kids as young as 6 years old are taking care of their siblings. With this playground, we want to give the opportunity for moms to be moms and kids to be kids."

Jessica Howard, 32, a recently divorced mother of three who lives at the shelter, is thrilled. She and her son Trevor, 12, participated in a committee that helped brainstorm what the playground would look like.

The old playground was a concrete slab with a basketball hoop, a rickety swing set and a picnic table. It wasn't safe for her two young daughters, who are toddlers, so Howard typically drove them to Crescent Lake Park.

Howard said she made sure the new 2,500-foot play area, which will not be open to the public, would have things for toddlers. This will help her juggle the demands of her work as an insurance agent and her children's needs.

"I think my kids will have a blast," Howard said. "CASA has empowered me and made me believe that I can be a strong independent woman."

KaBOOM, a nonprofit organization that builds playgrounds across the country, partnered with the Home Depot Foundation, which is providing a $65,000 grant for the project. The remainder of the money will be raised by CASA.

The foundation is bringing 100 Home Depot employees to help build the park on Thursday. About 75 local volunteers have already signed on, and about 25 more are needed to join teams that will help with food, logistics, registration, safety and construction.

Luis Perez can be reached at (727) 892-2271 or lperez@sptimes.com.

To volunteer

Contact Danielle Schaffer at (727) 895-4912, ext. 107.

CASA site to get new play area 06/15/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 22, 2010 4:42pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lakeland soldier, stationed at Fort Bragg, faces child porn charges

    Crime

    A soldier, formerly of Landland stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, faces 10 counts of child pornography after Polk County deputies say he downloaded inappropriate images while visiting family.

    Nathan Scott Gray, formerly of Lakeland, faces 10 counts of child pornography in Polk County. He is stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. [Polk County Sheriff's Office]
  2. A total of 367 men and women reside on death row at Florida State Prison and Union Correctional Institution, down from 383 at the start of this year. [AP photo (1989)]
  3. Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough, right, host MSNBC's "Morning Joe" at NBC Studios in New York on April 14, 2010. President Donald Trump on Thursday assailed Brzezinski in unusually personal and vulgar terms, the latest of a string of escalating attacks by the president on the national news media.
  4. Goliath grouper are anything but gentle giants for Florida fishermen

    Wildlife

    Goliath, the biblical giant, wasn't known for bothering fishermen. But the gigantic fish named after him — they can weigh up to 800-pounds — is notorious for exactly that.

    Biologists take samples from a goliath grouper that was caught in the Gulf of Mexico. The fish was released back into the gulf. Florida fishermen have petitioned the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to allow them to catch the up to 800-pound fish for a limited time. [Courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission]
  5. Volkov hopes to prove his surprise selection right

    Blogs

    RW Alexander Volkov was not a particularly talked-about player in the lead up to the NHL entry draft.