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GMC and Volunteers Build a United Way Healthy Kids Zone in Dallas

View photos from the United Way Healthy Kids Zone Driven by GMC in Dallas.


Community Blog

Rachel Davis, StudentBy Rachael Davis, Student at University of Dallas

The sound of sledge hammers, shovels and wheelbarrows filled the air and I witnessed 40 volunteers and United Way staff move to the rhythm of one heartbeat to build a playground for youth in Lancaster, TX.  With over 25 million of America‚s kids and children overweight and obese; United Way is committed to getting 1.9 million more Healthy Kids by 2018.  Building these United Way Healthy Kids Zone ˆ Driven by GMC in nine markets is part of that commitment.

When the cameras aren‚t flashing and the media isn‚t around we find out where the heart of a man lies.   Many of these volunteers and workers names and faces will never be in the spot light but because of their dedication, hard work and inner light they are planting light houses-a safe haven where children can come, be active and be healthy. Playgrounds where children can exercise and excel at the art of play; climb and build upper body strength; develop balance and agility; and develop strength and endurance. Playgrounds where our children can create moments that they will never forget and with one another and have a place where they can healthily LIVE UNITED.

It is amazing how much we can accomplish when we don‚t worry about who gets the credit.  As the cameras arrived at the conclusion of the day and the children arrived to a newly constructed playground, I was once again reminded that from where ever we are from this place we do, in fact, have the power and authority within ourselves to debunk the impossible.  Watching the volunteers and United Way staff as they stood back I couldn‚t help but to smile because this day I saw a strong few with such pure intentions who truly grasped and understood the bigger picture of it all.

I have often mentioned, „We know that our youth are only "at risk" of not receiving the world back from us in a better condition in which it was lent to us in the first place.‰  Y Outreach, Education, Hunger Prevention, Domestic Violence, Homelessness, Employment, Economic Development, Health & Wellness, Environmental Protection, Historical and Global Awareness are core issues facing our communities. When we unite to address and positively impact these platforms we, become more than superficial students; we begin to deconstruct the paradigms that led us to this state in the first place. Then we move to entertain the notion that from this place we do, in fact, have the power and authority within ourselves to debunk the impossible. When this is collectively understood and achieved all of humanity is uplifted.

It is my hope that the volunteers, GMC and United Way staff who were active the entire day know that their unity, good will, hard work, and their inner light has inspired and uplifted the Dallas Metropolitan Community.  I hope they know that on that day a small portion of humanity was uplifted and when one of us is uplifted we all are uplifted.  Because of them more than a playground was provided.  Our youth received a place where they can connect with other youth and transcend differences.

Vince Lombardi, football coach for the NFL (1913-1970) once stated „Individual commitment to a group effort-that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.‰ I hope that those that read this take the time to take the United Way Healthy Kids Pledge and Live United.