National Grid volunteers help build YMCA playground

LYNN-Nearly 40 National Grid employees volunteered their time Thursday to help the Greater Lynn YMCA build an outdoor playground.”They dug the holes one day and showed up with this big crew the next,” said YMCA Executive Director Bruce Macdonald. “They’re assembling all the pieces of the playground.”According to Macdonald, YMCA Development Director Beth Tilley applied for the grant that funded the playground. The apparatus, valued at approximately $32,000, was delivered on pallets in the early morning and by afternoon the crews were assembling it.”It required digging about 32 holes out in back of the Y where the kids play,” said Macdonald, noting that the playground is for children in the daycare and older, from kindergarten to the sixth grade.The volunteers were part of a larger 16th annual Community Care Day outreach orchestrated by the United Way of Mass Bay and the Merrimack Valley.Jeff Hayward, senior vice president of Community Impact at United Way, said the volunteer labor provided by the National Grid employees was worth about $15,000 and was only one of several projects under way in the Lynn area.The community care day involved 1,500 employees from 66 corporations at 100 sites throughout the United Way regional service area, said Brigid Boyd, the organization’s senior director of communications. Volunteers painted school buildings, classrooms, moved a book library and performed other tasks.Volunteers from the Target department store in Saugus painted at the Saugus Family YMCA, while volunteers from Danvers Bank sorted donated furniture at the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless in Lynn. Other volunteers from FedEx assisted with projects at Family & Children’s Service of Greater Lynn by working with children, and at Girls’ Inc. in Lynn by reading to young girls in the program.”It’s amazing what can be accomplished in one day when you have the commitment of this many volunteers and companies,” said Hayward. “This massive volunteer effort is a tremendous sign that we are a community in the truest sense, that we feel a responsibility toward each other and a desire to improve the quality of life for everyone in the region.”

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