Boys & Girls Clubs of SWVA 2023 Impact Report

PARTNERSHIP and Program Highlights

Building Magic in Vinton


S ince our partnership's inception in 2020, Vinton Baptist Church Boys & Girls Club stood as the sole club in Southwest Virginia without an outdoor playground—a vital component of our programming promoting healthy lifestyles, fostering friendship, teamwork, and collaborative play. This narrative transformed in the fall of 2023 when, on an unseasonably warm October afternoon, the ribbon was cut on a new playspace, a testament to generous funders and the unwavering determination of Vinton Baptist Church's congregation and the Vinton community. In early 2023, KABOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to eliminating playspace inequity for children, presented an opportunity for Boys & Girls Clubs of SWVA to be awarded a playground grant. This grant, one of eight across the state, was made possible by the Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth. Lacking the resources to independently pursue the grant, Vinton Baptist's Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Travis Russell was approached about a potential partnership. Following engagement with the congregation, the church graciously embraced the chance to create a playspace not only for Club members but for the entire community. A surprising twist in the tale unfolded as Russell revealed an empty plot of church-owned land directly across the street—an unutilized canvas seemingly awaiting the opportunity to be transformed for the greater good of the community.

Collaboratively designed by Club members, community members, and the congregation, the playground concept embodied the essence of local vision. Each step reflected the community's dedication to crafting a space fostering the well-being of its children. The transformative three-day community build, from October 25 to 27, marked the culmination of months of planning. Dozens of volunteers, fueled by enthusiasm and a shared vision, worked tirelessly to bring the playground to life, not merely as a physical structure but as a symbol of unity and shared purpose. This journey is a testament to the remarkable achievements when a community unites for the right reasons. The Vinton playground isn't just a play space; it epitomizes Vinton's spirit and the boundless possibilities when dreams take flight. Club members, adorned in hard hats, turned the corner for the grand reveal, echoing joy and excitement in the crowd, affirming the profound impact of community collaboration.


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