To her, the parks are personal. She honed her basketball skills on the courts. Her family gathered at the picnic tables. She ran drills out in the grass fields.
Now, Rita Jackson, an FCA US employee at the Toledo Assembly Complex in Ohio, gives back to those community parks that molded her formative years.
“Our neighborhood parks needed more attention, and I knew I had to do something to help bring them back to life,” says Jackson.
She created IMPACT Toledo in 2015. Since then her non-profit organization has upgraded 50 parks in the Toledo area.
Her group, an acronym for Individuals Making Positive Actions Changing Tomorrow, revitalizes existing park features, from painting picnic tables to installing new nets in the basketball hoops to cleaning up debris, garbage and overgrown foliage.
This summer, she kicked off her IMPACT Summer Program, or ISP, where she invites neighborhood families to come out on a Sunday to enjoy their local park and soak in some family time. While there, the children read aloud, play vintage outdoor games, hear inspiring stories from local artists and leaders, learn about personal growth, plant flowers, enjoy snacks and spend quality time appreciating all that a well-kept local park can offer.
To learn more about IMPACT Toledo, visit her website at http://impacttoledoinc.org/.
About FCA Community Stories:
FCA Community explores the efforts of FCA US employees who see a need beyond the walls of their work sites and devote energy outside their daily job to be a source of comfort and a force for change.