First project kicks off today as children in San Antonio community
gather to design their dream playground
SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--March 13, 2008--This year, thousands of
children across the country will get great new, safe places to play
thanks to a new partnership announced today between WaMu (NYSE:WM),
the nation's leading consumer and small business bank, and KaBOOM!, a
national non-profit organization that empowers communities to build
playgrounds. This year-long partnership will bring together almost
2,000 corporate and community volunteers to build child-designed
playgrounds in Atlanta; Chatsworth, Calif.; Chicago; Jacksonville,
Fla.; Los Angeles; New York City; San Antonio; San Francisco; Seattle
and one more city to be announced at a later date.
"It's a playful urban version of an old-fashioned barn raising,"
said Reza Aghamirzadeh, senior vice president of community and
external affairs at WaMu. "This partnership is a perfect fit for our
employees' hands-on approach to helping create strong communities.
Working side by side with our neighbors to protect open spaces and
build safe play places, we're helping to boost community pride,
improve children's health, and strengthen the ties that help neighbors
work better together toward shared goals."
This playground-building partnership with KaBOOM! is just one of
the many ways WaMu employees are making an impact on their
communities. WaMu provides 12 hours of paid time off per quarter for
full-time employees to serve their communities. Last year, WaMu
employees around the country volunteered 165,350 hours in support of
affordable housing, financial education and community strength.
KaBOOM!, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit, has helped build
more than 1,300 playgrounds, skateparks, ice rinks and sports fields
across North America since its inception in 1995 via its innovative
"We're ecstatic about this partnership and excited to be working
with such a great organization like Washington Mutual," KaBOOM! CEO &
Co-Founder Darell Hammond said. "WaMu has consistently demonstrated
its commitment to helping communities across the country. We're
looking forward to working together in our efforts to improve the
lives of children as well as to begin inspiring communities everywhere
to take positive action on behalf of children."
The playgrounds will be designed based on drawings submitted by
children at Design Day events held prior to each of the builds. A
locally formed playground planning committee will work closely with
the two organizations to prepare for the builds, which will take place
in just one day through the efforts of WaMu employees, KaBOOM! and
volunteers from the local communities.
The partnership kicks off today with a Design Day in San Antonio,
when the children and members of the Alamo Area Mutual Housing
Association and Castle Ridge Apartments will gather to design their
dream playground, which WaMu and KaBOOM! volunteers and community
members will build together on May 17.
About Washington Mutual, Inc.
Washington Mutual, Inc., through its subsidiaries, is one of the
nation's leading consumer and small business banks. At Dec. 31, 2007,
Washington Mutual, Inc. and its subsidiaries had assets of $327.91
billion. The company has a history dating back to 1889 and its
subsidiary banks currently operate approximately 2,500 consumer and
small business banking stores throughout the nation. The company's
press releases are available at http://newsroom.wamu.com.
KaBOOM! is a national non-profit organization that envisions a
great place to play within walking distance of every child in America.
Since 1995, KaBOOM! has used its innovative community-build model to
bring together business and community interests to construct more than
1,300 new playgrounds, skateparks, sports fields and ice rinks across
North America. KaBOOM! also offers a variety of resources, including
an online community, regional and national trainings, grants,
publications and the KaBOOM! National Campaign for Play, which
includes Playful City USA and the Playmaker Network -- a national
network of individual advocates for play. Headquartered in Washington,
D.C., KaBOOM! also has offices in Chicago, Atlanta and San Mateo, CA.
For more information, visit http://www.kaboom.org.
Geri Ann Baptista, 206-500-2875
WaMu (in San Antonio)
Missy Latham, 713-594-9332
Mike Vietti, 202-464-6186
SOURCE: Washington Mutual, Inc.