Queens-bred rapper turned preacher Reverend Run, who's also the star of MTV's "Run's House," and his wife, Justine, got down and dirty for a good cause—building playgrounds in the neighborhoods that need them the most.
Today, the Simmonses teamed with KaBOOM, Kool-Aid and The Odyssey House to lend a helping hand in the Bronx, New York, but their work has taken them nationwide.
"The purpose is for neighborhoods to have a playground within walking distance in every community," explained the Reverend. "We've been to Houston and Chicago and try to oblige and help out as much as we can every year."
But the dynamic duo didn't go it alone. "The community helps build the park, plant trees, lay the cement, and he kids draw pictures, and at the end of the day there is a sense of pride," says Justine. "So who's going to mess up what they build? It's their job to take care of it."
KaBOOM, which was launched in August 1995 after its founder, 24-year-old Darell Hammond, moved to Washington, D.C., and read a story in the Washington Post about two local children who suffocated while playing in an abandoned car because they didn’t have a place to go for recreation.
America's favority reality TV family plans to launch their own campaign in tandem with KaBOOM for a national play week beginning September 19 to September 27. Each community would host a barbecue as well as other activities for children and their families to participate in.
"it's so therapeutic, and I'm a big kid at heart, so I'm in my element," says Justine. "When people work together like this it helps to continue to build the community because you meet new people and socialize for a good cause."
MTV's "Run's House," which celebrates its sixth season, airs Mondays at 9 P.M. EST.—KNB
To find out how you can build a park in your neighborhood, visit www.kaboom.org.