Lowe’s donates $60K to Switchpoint for playground

ST. GEORGE — The dirt lot behind the Switchpoint Community Resource Center will soon be the site of a new playground and gathering place for the facility’s residents and clients thanks to a $60,000 donation from Lowe’s Home Improvement.

Staff of the Switchpoint Community Resource Center and Ben Kohler, store manager of Lowe’s Home Improvement in St. George, stand next to an oversized check representing a $60,000 donation from Lowe’s to Switchpoint for a backyard area and playground, St. George, Utah, Aug 21, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I’m really honored to be doing this,” Ben Kohler, manager of the Lowe’s on River Road, said Tuesday while standing by a giant check from Lowe’s made out to Switchpoint. “It’s a win-win for everybody that adds to the community.”

The $60,000 donation comes from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation. Lowe’s and the foundation support their local communities through programs that focus on K-12 public education and community improvement projects. Together they have contributed nearly $250 million to those efforts.

The donation will go toward the purchase of playground equipment, as well as shade trees and other materials, but not the labor involved, said Carol Hollowell, Switchpoint’s executive director. Volunteers who want to help build the playground are welcome to lend a hand.

“Believe me, there will be lots and lots of opportunity to volunteer.”

Kohler said he and others at Lowe’s have wanted to do something for Switchpoint for a few years now, but circumstances just hadn’t worked out until recently, and he’s excited to be a part of it.

Proposed plans for a backyard and playground area behind the Switchpoint Community Resource Center, St. George, Utah, Aug 21, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

When people think of the homeless and those in need, Kohler said, they tend to think more about the adults, not the children. It isn’t just individual adults who stay at Switchpoint, but families with children.

“This donation will help us fulfill our dream of having a playground area in the backyard that serves our families and residents that live here and also use our resources at the community resource center,” Hollowell said.

The nonprofit Switchpoint opened in 2014 and serves as both a homeless shelter and resource center for those in need by offering multiple services under a single roof. Since its creation, Switchpoint has grown to include a community food pantry and garden behind its building just off Sunset Boulevard on 1300 North.

Read more: Ribbon cutting ceremony heralds launch of Switchpoint Community Garden

The dirt lot behind the Switchpoint Community Resource Center and future site of a backyard area and playground, St. George, Utah, Aug 21, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

More recent additions behind the building include a large pavilion with picnic tables and benches. The latter were provided through a local Eagle Scout project, Hollowell said.

The rest of the area behind Switchpoint is a dirt lot where the playground and new landscaping will be placed.

“We have great community-corporate partners like Lowe’s who recognize needs such as Switchpoint,” St. George Mayor Jon Pike said, adding the $60,000 will go a long way getting the playground area built.

“We always wanted (Switchpoint) to feel like a home to people while they stayed here. I’m really pleased that now Carol and Switchpoint will be able to do this.”

If all goes as planned, ground will be broken for the new playground and backyard area by early September and will take about six weeks to complete, Hollowell said.

Those who would like to volunteer at the Switchpoint Community Resource Center can apply through the center’s website.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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  • michael bodell August 22, 2018 at 4:36 am

    Good story. Good job Ben and Carol.

  • CaliGirl August 23, 2018 at 3:54 pm

    Backstabber Ben… Loser

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