Children’s Home receives repurposed swing set

NASHUA – Moving into the fourth year of its campaign, One Spot Twice Played, the owner of Liberty Hill Construction in Bedford, Greg Rehm, donated a play structure to the Nashua Children’s Home on Thursday.

“We’re just repurposing something that’s perfectly fine and needs to be in someone else’s hands that doesn’t have it or could appreciate it. Really it’s a win-win for all parties,” Rehm said.

After Mike Apfelberg, president of United Way of Greater Nashua put Rehm in touch with David Villiotti, executive director at NCH, the two of them worked out the logistics and decided how and when the new play structure would be delivered and installed.

Once Rehm and Villioti squared away their plans, Rehm rallied his crew of eight men and women together to have all hands on deck when delivering the recycled swing set from Bedford to Nashua Thursday morning.

Starting in Bedford, the crew dismantled and loaded up the new play structure to be repurposed for NCH and drove it down to Nashua. Upon their arrival, it was decided to keep the existing play structure, adding the new swing set to the play area. Originally, a dumpster had been donated by one of Rehm’s vendors, Casella Waste Services Inc., to cart away the existing play structure, but plans changed. Although old, it was decided that it was still in decent enough condition to remain in place, and so now the children have an extra obstacle to climb on.

Villiotti said it’s hard to say exactly how old the existing play structure is, but that they’ve had it since the 1990s.

He said it will particularly be the younger kids they have there that will use the swing set regularly, and that some children have attention issues causing them to have excess energy. So, with this new swing set, they’ll have ample opportunity to get that energy out.

“We are so pleased that Greg from Liberty Hill was able to connect with the Nashua Children’s Home for their play structure project this year. I’ve known Greg for years through the Home Builders Association and have always been very impressed with his spirit of community service. I can think of no more deserving place for this play set than NCH. For decades, the Children’s Home has quietly housed, protected and nurtured some of our communities’ truly most at-risk youth. These are kids whose parents are sometimes incarcerated, drug addicted or even dead. These are kids who have sometimes been victims of abuse or neglect. NCH takes them in and gives them the very best chances for a good life under terrible circumstances. The partnership between Liberty Hill and NCH is one of the best examples of LIVING UNITED that I have come across in a very long time, and we are very grateful for Greg’s spirit of giving,” Apfelberg said.

Villiotti said that having a playground for the months where we have warmer weather is important to them at NCH.

“We’re extremely appreciative and honored to be the beneficiary of Greg’s goodwill. We’re pleased to be connected to Greg and it’s going to be an invaluable resource for us,” Villiotti said.

How Rehm’s campaign works is that during the month of December, they reach out to all their customers and keep them on their radar throughout the year with newsletters and marketing stuff.

“We had seven different people willing to donate their swing sets and we surveyed and picked the one that was most appropriate for NCH,” Rehm said.

The first two years of the campaign Rehm did it through one of the elementary schools in Bedford. He said last year, United Way of Greater Nashua connected them with Greater Nashua Habitat for Humanity who connected them to a veteran family with two young children.

“I came up with the idea as a way to do a team building thing for the company,” Rehm said.

Being a residential remodeling company sometimes they’ll have customers ask if they could remove a swing set for them, and Rehm said many of these are in fine working condition.

“We did our first one on Christmas Eve and it was a surprise to a family with a bunch of kids who didn’t have one. We wrapped it in a bow and did it as a Christmas present. Then it just continued on,” Rehm said.

His hope is to get more businesses on board with his campaign and said it’s fairly simple because the swing sets are out there and people want to get rid of them.

“I think that this is something that’s really a part of community spirit, and sometimes it doesn’t have to be that complicated. In my opinion it’s a simple concept,” Rehm said.

Adam Urquhart can be reached at 594-1206 or aurquhart@nashuatelegraph.com.