This year, we’re excited to celebrate 10 years of our Playhouse Program! That’s right. For a decade now, we’ve been doing adorable, pint-sized construction that creates a lot of smiles in addition to a lot of critical funding for affordable housing.
Playhouse gives groups a meaningful, creative, and hands-on day of team building, which participants spend creating custom play spaces for local children. And those children aren’t the only ones who benefit – our build groups also make a donation that helps Habitat build more affordable homes in our communities.
They might be little houses, but Playhouse makes a huge impact. It’s grown from a 20-playhouse operation in 2009 to over 500 playhouses in the last year. And we’ve grown in other ways, as well. We now have two fully equipped workshops – one in Milpitas, and one in Oakland – furnished to host Playhouse builds as well as the volunteers who help us create the materials we need for those builds. And those volunteers have helped us to streamline the production of Playhouse parts in a way that minimizes waste and increases production.
That volunteer base has also grown, with a backbone of steady regulars who come in weekly to “prep” materials. The groups that come out to build with us now come from a wide breadth of industries and locations, from faith communities in Contra Costa County to architects in Alameda County and down to the tech giants of Silicon Valley – and groups of all sizes and sectors in between. We also donate our playhouses to many more children now – you can find these adorable creations at preschools, in housing communities, on military bases, and more.
And of course, along with all this growth, Playhouse has grown its capacity to build affordable housing, raising over a million dollars last year to support Habitat’s programs and services. That’s serious impact.
“I’m incredibly proud of the Playhouse Program,” says Janice Jensen, our President & CEO. “We’ve managed to create community benefit in so many ways with this one program, and it continues to engage more people in our mission.”
Happy 10th birthday, Playhouse Program! When you get involved in the Playhouse Program, you help little houses build big dreams.
If you’re part of a group who’d like to participate and build a Playhouse with us, please click here and complete our Team Building Inquiry form.
If you’d like to nominate a family or organization to receive a playhouse please email our volunteer team for more information!