Linda Prout’s full-fledged devotion of her time, energy and inspiring work ethic directly resulted in thousands of children across the Gulf Coast having something they didn’t before: a great place to play.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the devastation left hundreds of thousands of people without the necessities of life. As support from across the country made its way to the Gulf Coast, one critical aspect was neglected: providing safe places to play for children.
To rectify the dire situation, in 2005 Linda partnered with the national non-profit KaBOOM! on Operation Playground, an initiative to build 100 playgrounds in areas affected by the hurricanes.
Linda has volunteered on 28 playground builds throughout the Gulf Coast providing laughter and fun for more than 14,000 children every year. The playground builds she has worked at will eventually serve more than 200,000 kids throughout the lifetime of the playgrounds. Linda has served as an unbelievable champion for providing children with a great place to play. Since 2005, Linda has spent more than 200 hours building playgrounds for children.
In 2008, Linda took her volunteerism to an entirely different level. After having volunteered at so many playground builds, Linda and her husband, decided to fundraise and build a playground. For months, Linda and Lee tirelessly recruited individuals to donate toward their effort to raise more than $50,000 for the cost of a new playground.
Ultimately, Linda chose to build a playground at Geraldine Boudreaux Elementary School in Terrytown, Louisiana – one of the hardest hit areas of Hurricane Katrina. More than 600 children attended Boudreaux Elementary, yet they had no full-scale playground.
The project kicked off with a Design Day on April 23, 2009 when children from Boudreaux spent time drawing their dream playgrounds. With Linda’s help, those drawings were incorporated into the final design of the new playground. Eight weeks of detailed planning followed with Linda providing inspiration throughout the process. The hard work came to fruition on June 13, when hundreds of volunteers from the community joined with Linda to build the playground at Boudreaux Elementary. Linda was single handedly responsible for immediately providing 600 children with a great place to play. Eventually, the playground will serve nearly 10,000 children.
Linda continues to help build playgrounds. Her service demonstrates that passion overcomes obstacles, which inspires and motivates legions of volunteers throughout the Gulf Coast.