SAP, Home Depot, Stop & Shop Build Playgrounds

SAP America, The Home Depot, and the Stop & Shop Supermarket Co. announced their participation in community teambuilding activities organized by KaBOOM!, a non-profit organization that designs and supervises volunteer-based building of playgrounds across North America. The program arranges for corporate employee volunteers to work alongside community volunteers to lead the planning, design, and construction of playgrounds in their company’s priority markets.

The play spaces are built in a day, but planning typically begins two months in advance as part of a detailed process KaBoom! says was developed over more than a decade by its professionals.

SAP Americas, Inc., has built eight playgrounds with KaBOOM! since 2006. These builds often were focused on individual groups within SAP. The company’s finance team, for instance, participated in builds organized in conjunction with SAP’s national sales meeting.

“Think how many consultants you’d have to hire to put blindfolds on and spin you around somewhere,” says Bill McDermott, SAP Americas, Inc., president, global field operations. “We don’t have to. We’re out there with the real people.”

The Home Depot has built more than 1,000 playgrounds with KaBOOM! since 1996. Through changes in leadership, The Home Depot says it has maintained its commitment to community involvement and team building with the KaBOOM!-organized construction of playgrounds serving as a highlight for employees.

“The secret sauce with KaBOOM! is not the playground,” says Brad Shaw, senior vice president of corporate communications at The Home Depot and a KaBOOM! board member. “It’s really the project management and the fun.”

At the end of 2009, Stop & Shop Supermarket Company will have built five playgrounds with KaBOOM!. Stop & Shop says it relies on playground builds with KaBOOM! as employee engagement and team building opportunities. The builds enable employees from different stores and offices to collaborate on a real world project that benefits the community.

“This kind of project is exactly what the Stop & Shop Family Foundation was created for,” says Stop & Shop president and CEO Jose Alvarez, “an endeavor that will have a positive effect on families throughout the neighborhood.”