3rd Grader Collects $337 For Special Playground

Three weeks ago, the town of Ottawa, Kansas, saw the opening of a new playground. But not just any playground; this one was unusual. It was the first time that Ottawa had built a playspace accessible to children with physical challenges.

They’d never come together to do anything quite like this, and weren’t sure exactly where to start. But KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to saving play for America’s children, helped them with an online planner showing them how, step by step.

Third Grader Sonny Collected Change At Local Gas Stations

And plenty of residents helped too, including Sonny, who’s in third grade.  He spent his summer collecting change at local gas stations to raise money for the new playground. He ended up surpassing his goal and collected $337 all in honor of his five-year-old brother who had died a few months before.

Everyone in Ottawa is excited! From KaBOOM!

Tara says the new playground is “a double excitement” for her family because her epileptic daughter can play there, and her wheelchair-bound mother can join the fun, too.

Kelley is excited too– her daughter has spina bifida, which renders most playground equipment out of reach. The new swings with protective bars are “almost like a rocket seat—she’s always wanted to go faster, and now she can safely.”

Fundraising For Playspace For Children With Physical Disabilities

The U.S. has quite a few playspaces designed for children with disabilities, but this might be the first one where a third grader has taken up fundraising and come up with $337!

Way to go, Sonny!

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Photo Credit: BCI Burke Playgrounds


Silvia G.
Silvia G6 years ago

Good for you Sonny!! I'm happy to see there are kids like you!! You did a very beautiful thing for your mates!

Jo Asprec
Jo Asprec6 years ago

Bravo Sonny! Thanks for thinking of special children.

Christine Stewart
Christine S6 years ago

Sonny, you are a great kid to raise so much money for a playground that ALL kids can have fun using.

Marianne C.
Marianne C6 years ago

Good for Sonny. He's already learned to be a good citizen who cares about others and who is willing to work for a goal that will help them.

Too bad he's only in the third grade. If he were 25, he could run for Congress.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold6 years ago

Congrats to Sonny. We need to have more models for our children to follow and he is a number 1 in my eyes.

To the children of Kansas, enjoy the freedom you have finally been give to be a child.

Nancy Roussy
Nancy Roussy6 years ago

Wow, what an awesome young man!

Amanda M.
Amanda M6 years ago

BRAVO, Sonny! You are an inspiration to both kids and adults everywhere, and what a beautiful tribute to your brother's memory! If only more kids had the get-up-and-go mentality and drive that you do, the world would be a far better place!

"And a little child shall lead them...."

C L.
CL L6 years ago

Kuddos what a wonderful gesture...enjoy!

Magdalena K.
Past Member 6 years ago


Marilyn L.
Marilyn L6 years ago

Good job, we need more playgrounds like these.