Play Time
This winter, Marshall County, Ky., Lodge 2707 gave women and children a safe place to have fun. The Lodge used a Community Investments Program Gratitude Grant to update the playground of The Merryman House, a domestic violence shelter.

Playground Revamp

Lodge members discussed needs in their community and found that the women’s shelter could use their support. The outdoor play area was in desperate need of renovations, so the Elks offered their services. They purchased two new swing-and-slide climber sets—one for toddlers and another for older children—and towed them to the Merryman House.

“The Lodge loved the project and several members came out to help,” shared CIP Project Manager Katherine Hammond. “We want to give the children who stay at this shelter a ‘normal’ place in their time of need.”

Safe Haven

In total, 13 Lodge members spent a day tearing down the old playground and building the new one. In addition to providing and constructing the playground, the Lodge also gave new coats and toys to the children staying at the shelter.

“This is a place where kids and their mothers can go to connect and heal, as well as have fun,” explains Hammond. “Children at the shelter, now and in the future, have a new, safe playground.”

The Elks National Foundation helps Lodges serve their communities by offering $2,000 Gratitude Grants. Lodges are eligible to apply for Gratitude Grants after meeting the National President’s per-member goal for giving to the Foundation. To find out more about Gratitude Grants and the Community Investments Program, visit

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