Show some love – donate to Legacy Foundation’s ‘No Kids Left Inside’ project

The Des Moines Legacy Foundation is encouraging the community to show local kids some love this Valentine’s Week by donating $5 (or more) towards its ‘No Kids Left Inside’ campaign to replace all of the outdoor playground equipment in Des Moines.

For each $5 donation, the foundation will give its contributors a free LED rose to light up Valentine’s Week.


Last fall, Legacy announced its goal of raising $205,000 as part of a public campaign to secure $2.5 million to buy new playground equipment for eight parks throughout the City of Des Moines.

Outdoor play is a critical component in the development of preschool children and nearly all of the current playground equipment in Des Moines parks has passed its expiration date. In addition to the current equipment replacement, the campaign will fund the creation of play areas at both Steven J. Underwood Park and at the Beach Park north of the Des Moines Marina.

While big donations are an integral part of the public contribution campaign, Legacy members are concentrating on enabling the broader sector of the community to participate. Many residents cannot afford large donations, but a lot of small contributions by those of modest means can be just as impactful, said Des Moines Legacy President Gene Achziger.

“Big contributions are always welcome, but we’re really encouraged by the number of small donors who are stepping up to help kids,” Achziger said.

“We collected quite a bit with our small donation drive in December when we gave away LED Christmas light bulb necklaces, and we’re hoping for just as great a response during Valentine’s Week when we give away LED lighted roses with each $5 donation,” he added.

To date, Legacy has raised nearly $150,000. Part of that money ($50,000) will be matched against grants such as the recent $245,000 King County Youth & Amateur Sports grant to build an Access for All playground at Steven J. Underwood Park near the Des Moines Post Office on South 216th Street.

“Some people scoffed when we set the $205,000 goal, but we’re [Legacy] highly optimistic given the number of people stepping up to the challenge,” Achziger said.

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