CHICAGO, IL (May 13, 2011) – Homeless shelter Cornerstone Community Outreach missed winning a $15,000 grant for upgrading its playground by a mere .02 percent of the vote, says Glenn Palmberg.
KaBOOM!, an nonprofit organization committed to enhancing play opportunities for children, sponsored the contest in which visitors to its website cast votes for one of 10 projects. The top five each will receive grants. Cornerstone finished sixth. Official tallies of vote counts are not available.
Jesus People USA Covenant Church operates the shelter where up to 100 children and their families live.
Palmberg, the former Evangelical Covenant Church president, said he was grateful for all of the people who cast their votes each day and let others know about the contest via social media.
Palmberg says Cornerstone plans to apply for future grants from the organization, although the funds would not be awarded based upon a contest. “They like our project and they are impressed with our votes.” He added, “The organization is terrific.”
The playground was constructed 15 years ago as a memorial to Kathleen Larsen, daughter of then Covenant president Paul Larsen and his wife, Elizabeth. Kathleen had been a volunteer working with children at the shelter prior to her death in 1996.
The rooftop playground needs repair and new equipment as well as shading. “They need the shading because it gets very hot up there,” says Palmberg.
Since retiring as president, Palmberg has volunteered with Jesus People to find ways to fund needed projects. He lives at the inner-city community for one week every two months.