WorldLegacy Building Lifespan Playground
More than 100 Volunteers help erect area for local school
By Michael D. Abernethy
Children at the LifeSpan Circle School in Burlington will be welcomed to a brand new playground Monday. Built in two days by more than 100 volunteers from all over North Carolina and the US. Among the new treasures are a gazebo, a handicapped-accessible swing set, brand new pre-school level playground and several new sand boxes. Volunteers also mulched, raked, and cleaned the schoolyard.
I can’t wait to see the kids’ eyes Monday. Being a non-profit organization, we couldn’t have afforded this,” said Buzz Vanderwerff, LifeSpan’s development director for Guilford and Alamance Counties. The Burlington preschool places typical and developmentally challenged children together or learning and an inclusive environment between 6 months and 6 years old. The volunteer project was coordinated by the WorldLegacy Leadership Program, headquartered in Morrisville, and is the Center’s 105th The program teams people of all ages and all walks of life to build their leadership skills and focus on a community project about once a month. community service project in North Carolina and the South.
“We came together to give back. There’s nothing better than to give and there’s no one better to give to than kids. This will have an impact in the community for a very long time,” said program member Talib Winston, 30. “What (LifeSpan) could have done in three months, we’ve done in two days, all without spending our own money and all with donations from the community.” The program’s 30 members organized support from 40 Elon University students in the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity and 20 NC A&T students. About 20 more volunteers from within the community also lent support over the weekend. Deborah Dorland, 50, is an artist by trade from her home in West Virginia. She spent the weekend constructing a sandbox with tie-downs for a tarpaulin shell. Children there could play in the school’s sandboxes because they were unsafe, she said. “It seems like a very humble thing to make a sandbox, but this is a stretch for me. I spend all day sculpting and painting.
This program has completely changed my life. It’s put me in a place where I can be a better daughter and sister,” Dorland said. Winston says the leadership program has made him a better father in the six months he’s been involved with the WorldLegacy. “Without this, I don’t know if I would have kept my family together. I can only say thank you to (John Foley, the man who told him about the program) and thank the Lord,” he said. The school and WorldLegacy members will hold a ribbon cutting celebration Monday from 4 to 6pm, complete with food and performances by the New River Uprising band, Lulu as “Mother Goose,” Clown Willie and Don the Magic Man.
Reprinted with permission Burlington Times-News.