TV handyman Carter Oosterhouse and his wife, Justified actress Amy Smart, are putting their talents to good use. The photogenic couple, who got married in 2011, work hand-in-hand building playgrounds in low-income neighborhoods with their nonprofit organization, Carter’s Kids.
As Oosterhouse, 40, explains to Us Weekly, “I started this organization 10 years ago, building playgrounds for low-income neighborhoods, Boys & Girls clubs, schools, elementary schools. And the idea was to fight childhood obesity and keep kids active. Kids are 400 percent more likely to be physically active if they have something attractive to play on. And in my mind, as a builder, I thought, What can I do to give back for kids? And building playgrounds seemed like a natural fit.”
Smart, also 40, says Oosterhouse’s passion for this was one of the first things about her husband that she fell in love with. "Honestly, when I met Carter and I went to the first playground build that I was a part of in Dallas, I loved how passionate he was about the project. It was just so wonderful to be hands-on, part of building this playground. But then getting to see how the kids react and how excited they are to play on it — they’re just feeling so happy that they have a place in their community where they can go and just run around and be kids on.”
Carter’s Kids builds one playground a month in a different city in the U.S., and October’s build took place at Webster Elementary School in the city of Long Beach, California. For the project, Carter’s Kids teamed up with Nordic Naturals to elevate awareness and raise funds through their #HowIPlay contest, which also sent a lucky winner to help the team on their playground build.
Explains the eco-carpenter, “It was great because we don’t get to do a ton around L.A. and it’s nice to do one close to where we are! We made sure that the playgrounds are conducive to the kids who will be using them and that they’ll last for at least 20 years. So it impacts not just the kids who are using it at recess that day, but it’s year after year and generations of kids that will use this playground that we put up."
For more information about Carter’s Kids or to volunteer to help build a playground, visit carters-kids.org.
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