A flurry of orange shirts raced out the doors and flooded the playground Friday afternoon at the Ruth Lilly Social Service Center in Indianapolis.

Children returning to the shelter from an action-packed day at Summer of Wonder day camp didn’t seem to be bothered by the triple digit heat or the media crews filming their every move.  Their only concern was to run, jump, climb and slide. But, it’s a scene that almost didn’t happen.

Last March, the playground was run down, unsafe and only catered to a younger play audience of children. Mel McMahon, our corporate relation coordinator at SA Indiana, started asking for help from corporate partners.

“Right away, we had two corporate partners step up to the plate,” McMahon said. “Then things just sort of fell through.”

Although back at square one, McMahon didn’t give up.

“Mel and I were in a meeting and she said hey, do you know anyone that could help us with a playground? We need a new playground at the shelter,” Jim Brantley said. “I asked her, what do you need? I said you know what, let me make some calls, and we picked up the project.”

Brantley, owner of ValPak/Reach Indianapolis, has been a member of The Salvation Army Indiana’s advisory board for about eight years.

“The folks at The Salvation Army do so much good,” he said. “We were just thrilled to help.”

To thank Brantley for his help in making over the playground and making a place for in it for children of all ages, shelter staff, children, board members, the staff of ValPak and many more gathered for a ribbon cutting and dedication. Brantley was presented with a large card decorated and signed by all the kids who enjoy playing on the newly made over playground.

“It’s great to see the kids playing,” Brantley said. “The first time I came in after it (the playground) was put in, I was walking down the hall, and you could hear them (the children) squealing and having a good time.”

Check out the photos here.