Chicago Bears alumni players, alongside Bears season ticket holders, helped construct a playground at A Safe Place in Zion, IL on Saturday, July 23. The new, state-of-the-art playground will be used by children who visit and stay at the facility throughout the year. Alumni volunteers included Jerry Azumah, Mickey Pruitt, Garrett Wolfe, Johan Asiata, Johnny Knox, Ray McElroy, Jim Althoff, Desmond Clark and Mike Richardson.
"The Bears gave me a call and asked me to help out as they were volunteering to build a playground for kids in a local neighborhood," said Johnny Knox, former Bears wide receiver. "I thought that was a great idea for me to come out and give a helping hand."
A Safe Place is the sole provider of services exclusively addressing domestic violence in Lake County, Illinois. Through multi-faceted programs they assist victims in transforming their lives after domestic violence, prevent future abuse by addressing its root cause through abuser intervention programs, and educate the community about domestic violence and how we can all be involved in its end.
Pat Davenport, Executive Director of A Safe Place, said the playground build would not have been possible without the Bears. "The Chicago Bears have been longtime partners of A Safe Place since 1988. Many of the moms have asked us for a playground but we did not have the resources to do so. It's great to see that we are not alone in the fight to end domestic violence; the Chicago Bears are with us."
Davenport and the Zion facility residents were thankful for the opportunity to work alongside the alumni and season ticket holders. "The building process was therapeutic for residents and their children and can bring them peace of mind knowing that they will no longer have to walk over a mile to get to the nearest playground."
Bears season ticket holder Sandy Resetich felt that volunteering was rewarding and enjoyable. "Building the playground was a great experience and I was happy to see what was done for the children living at that location. It was also fun to work alongside former players and nice to see that they gave up personal time to help those children."
For more information on A Safe Place, visit http://www.asafeplaceforhelp.org/