Four foster children, all under the age of five, will have a new play area in their backyard this Christmas, thanks to volunteer organizations in the area. Several groups volunteered time and Home Depot volunteered materials to erect a fence and build a playhouse along with a swing set for the children in their backyard located in Anna.

Foster Parents

Foster parents, Tammy and Rickie, are in the process of adopting the four children, one of which is Tammy’s grandson. For this reason, they are unable to use their last names in order to protect the identity of the children in their care. Tammy raised five children of her own before becoming a foster parent. Tammy works as a school bus driver and Rickie, who is disabled, works at a McKinney pizza restaurant. This means that they live on an extremely tight budget and were unable to provide the children with a safe play area in their backyard.

From Broken Trampoline to Playhouse

The couple’s yard provided ample area for the children to play outside, but there was no fence surrounding the yard, creating a dangerous situation for the small children. In addition, there was a broke trampoline which presented another hazard that could lead to injury. Tammy and Rickie simply didn’t have the money to remove the trampoline or build a fence around the property. Virginia Barrett, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, learned about the couple’s desire to place a swing set in the yard and to build a fence for better protection. She began reaching out to area businesses, organizations and volunteers to make the couple’s wish come true.

Several Organizations

Pate Rehabilitation, whose management has a connection to CASA staff, donated $1,000 to purchase a swing set for the family. Home Depot donated materials for the fence and playhouse which were both built by two volunteer organizations. North Collin County Habitat for Humanity took on the construction with assistance from Hands ‘N Hammers, members of the First United Methodist Church of McKinney who volunteer time each week on home improvement projects in the area. The two groups built the swing set, set the fence and transformed an old shed on the property into a playhouse with another section for storage. They also completed landscaping, repaired the trampoline and installed a portable pool. The project took the volunteers two weeks to complete.

Special Meaning

Several of the volunteers said that this project had special meaning for them since it was for children so close to the holiday season. Hands ‘N Hammers has completed more than 40 projects in the northern Collin County area, many of which were completed through NCC Habitat for Humanity’s “Brush with Kindness” neighborhood revitalization initiative. Volunteers say that they intend to make the world a better place by helping one person, one family at a time.

This project demonstrates the generosity and desire to help others that exists throughout the McKinney area. AAA Air is proud to be part of such a giving community. Contact AAA Air today for a review of your heating and air conditioning system. We can provide you with advice that will make your system more efficient and our friendly, knowledgeable technicians can repair or replace any system components that may be malfunctioning. You can reach us online or by giving us a call to set up your system review today.

McKinney Courier Gazette