Volunteers needed to help build playground

HARLINGEN — Everybody needs a helping hand.

Or two, or three or even 200.

That’s how many volunteers are expected to show up today at the future Valley Haven Emergency Children’s Shelter to build a playground. The shelter is scheduled to open in the next few months, said Kristin Millon, president and founder.

She and her mother Gracie Bradwell have been working on the shelter at 5501 W. Business 83 for quite some time. Its 32 beds will provide shelter for children who have been removed from their homes by Child Protective Services.

The playground is crucial for children who have been traumatized.

“Every two hours, the children need to be hydrated and they need exercise,” Millon said. “They need to have some kind of snack.”

The playground will provide some of that exercise with slides, lily pods and other pieces of equipment.

Besides the benefits of health, the playground is important to the children for another reason.

“This gives them a place where they can be kids,” Millon said.

Volunteers showed up Monday at the site for a “prep day,” Millon said. Yesterday, they were taking care of last-minute details, and today they begin work at 7 a.m.

While the required 200 volunteers are already fully committed, Millon said they can always use more. All you have to do is show up.

Work has been planned so effectively that a ribbon-cutting for the playground’s completion is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.