We like to say that play is a magic wand waved over all kinds of health challenges, improving vision and cardiovascular health, boosting gross motor skills and concentration, decreasing stress and obesity.

And what we know – from science and experience in serving 25,000 people a month – is that Magical Bridge Playgrounds are a key to healthier, happier lives for patrons of all ages and all abilities. With a focus on the social, emotional, physical, and mental health of children and adults, Magical Bridge Foundation is creating play spaces that are welcoming, safe, and fun for people who are too often discluded from the benefits of swinging, sliding, and meeting up with friends – those with physical and developmental disabilities, older adults, and children with marginalizing challenges.

Now, with a generous donation of $150,000 by Kaiser Permanente, even more kids and adults will experience the magic of play, and the health benefits that time outside and with others brings. The gift will fund the Kaiser Permanente Kindness Corner at the Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City, CA.

Here, residents and visitors of greater San Mateo county will join students and staff from local schools in an accessible, dynamic space within the playground to meet, learn and find joy and community in being compassionate, active upstanders.

“Creating environments that extend access, kindness, and compassion to everyone creates a ripple effect that reaches across Redwood City, the entire Bay Area and beyond. This builds the social connectivity that is consistent with our commitment to diversity and inclusion, and essential to helping communities thrive,” explained Sheila Gilson, Senior Vice President and Area Manager, Kaiser Permanente.

“San Mateo county is a thriving community of neighbors, businesses and tourist destinations,” Chris Beth from Redwood City’s Park and Recreation Department  said. “Magical Bridge Playground and its many committed partners is building on the best of our corner of California by making an inclusive place for us all to meet, play, care and connect.”

Magical Bridge Playgrounds welcome all, making it a great partner for Kaiser Permanente, whose mission affirms that all people deserve the chance to be healthy – well beyond medical care and doctor offices. Together, our holistic approaches to well-being will impact individuals who’ve otherwise been left out of playground adventures, as well as cities, communities, and more inclusive nation.

“Instinctively we know that being outdoors has a way of making us feel better, and research has established that having access to natural outdoor areas is vital to our overall well-being,” said Bill Firtch, MD, Physician-in-Chief at Kaiser Permanente Redwood City Medical Center.

The science is compelling – and so are the schools! The Magical Bridge Playground in Redwood City will become an epicenter of inclusive outdoor experiences for local school communities, which are already investing energy and excitement into the Kindness Corner. Students from Hawes Elementary School, Redwood City School District, and Belmont-Redwood Shores School District have joined together to raise $25,000 for the playground and will help create a wall of words in English, Spanish, and Braille to encourage compassion, fight bullying, and empower upstanders.

“The personal involvement and commitment from Redwood City school children demonstrates how important this project is to them. Based on our many years of investing in community health, we recognize that having local community support in place is critical to the success of any effort to effect positive, sustainable change,” Stephan Wahl, Community Health and Benefit Manager, Kaiser Permanente said, commending the group effort.

The commitment to be kind, inclusive, and embracing by Kaiser Permanente and school communities is already testament to the power of play. As we near ground-breaking, as students surround themselves with phrases that compel compassion and respect, and as word spreads that all are welcome, we know the wide smiles, happy squeals, and new friendships shining brightly will be signs of a thriving and healthier corner of our county.

Press Release: Kaiser Permanente Gives $150,000 to Ensure All Kids Have a Healthy, Happy Place to Play in Redwood City

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Partnerships are MAGICAL! If your Company, Foundation or CSR (corporate social responsibility) team would like to support Magical Bridge Playgrounds or Magical Bridge Foundation, kindly contact  Jill Asher at jill@magicalbridge.org or 650-520-8512