UnitedHealthcare, KaBOOM! and Randy Rogers Band to Build Playground for Austin YMCA

Volunteers will build 2,500-square-foot playground in eight hours

AUSTIN, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- On Saturday, June 25, more than 150 UnitedHealthcare employees are joining other volunteers to help build a new playground at the YMCA of Austin, East Communities Branch.

UnitedHealthcare volunteers are working with KaBOOM!, a national nonprofit organization that has helped build more than 2,000 playgrounds in communities throughout the country. The playground design is based on drawings created by children at the YMCA during a recent “design day.”

Members of the Randy Rogers Band, an Austin-based, critically acclaimed country act, are participating in the playground build and will perform a brief acoustical set for volunteers.

“The new playground gives the nearly 20,000 children and teens whom the YMCA of Austin serves annually a safe place to interact with their peers and help them develop physically and socially,” said Adrienne Sturrup, executive director, YMCA of Austin, East Communities Branch. “Physical activity at a young age is key to developing healthy habits that last a lifetime. Having a new playground for our kids wouldn’t be possible without the support of UnitedHealthcare and its hard-working volunteers.”

Construction of the 2,500-square-foot playground is part of an ongoing partnership between UnitedHealthcare and the YMCA to raise awareness about the benefits of exercise, nutrition and other aspects of healthy living. UnitedHealthcare and the YMCA work together on programs dedicated to obesity prevention for children, families and adults at risk of developing chronic diseases.

“Our employees look forward to volunteering with KaBOOM! and the Randy Rogers Band to build a playground where the children of Austin can play and get some exercise and fresh air,” said Tom Paul, CEO, UnitedHealthcare Medicare & Retirement.

The playground build is the latest in UnitedHealthcare’s “Do Good. Live Well.” initiative – a campaign to inspire service and volunteerism among the company’s employees.

“The connection between volunteerism and health is well-documented. Evidence suggests volunteering gives greater meaning to life, increases healthy behaviors and decreases stress and tension. Doing good is just as much a benefit for our employees as this playground will be for the children at the YMCA,” added Paul.

According to a 2010 survey released by UnitedHealthcare and VolunteerMatch, 89 percent of volunteers reported an actual improvement in their sense of well-being, and 68 percent of volunteers agree volunteering makes them feel physically healthier.

For more information about the benefits of volunteering and to find local opportunities to get involved, visit www.DoGoodLiveWell.org. Follow @DoGoodLiveWell on Twitter or “like” Do Good. Live Well. on Facebook.

About the YMCA of Austin

The Y is one of the nation’s leading non-profits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. The YMCA of Austin serves more than 40,000 active members and provides program services to an additional 40,000 people citywide. The YMCA of Austin extends programs and services to individuals and families – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change. AustinYMCA.org.

About KaBOOM!

KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to saving play. Children today spend less time playing outdoors than any previous generation, a fact that is having disastrous consequences on their health, achievement levels, and overall well-being. To fight this Play Deficit, social entrepreneur Darell Hammond founded non-profit KaBOOM! 15 years ago in Washington, D.C. with a vision of creating a great place to play within walking distance of every child in America. Since then, KaBOOM! has mapped over 85,000 places to play, built more than 2,000 playgrounds, and successfully advocated for play policies in hundreds of cities across the country. KaBOOM! also provides communities with online tools to self-organize and take action to support play on both a local and national level. Hammond chronicles the founding of the organization and the importance of the cause of play in his The New York Times Best Seller KaBOOM!: How One Man Built a Movement to Save Play. The book details how businesses and communities can work together to save play for children across the country. All author proceeds support KaBOOM!. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago and San Mateo, Calif. For more information, visit www.kaboom.org.

About UnitedHealthcare

UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 650,000 physicians and care professionals and 5,000 hospitals nationwide. UnitedHealthcare serves more than 38 million people and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.

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UnitedHealth Group
Mark Drake, 202-277-7375 (Cell)
[email protected]

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