Matt, Savannah to 'Shine a Light' on giving kids safe places to play

Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie will help give kids safe places to play as part of TODAY’s Shine a Light project, a year-long initiative through which our anchors will support worthy causes. 

Matt and Savannah will help convert an abandoned lot into a playground, working to help provide secure locations for kids to exercise both their bodies and their imaginations.

"Recess was my favorite subject in school. I loved to go outside and run around. And I can't imagine growing up and not being able to sit on a swing set and take flight," Savannah said. "I would love to do something that brought joy to kids who have too little of it." 

Our co-anchors will team up with communities to renovate an abandoned area and build a playground.

"I want to take what is perhaps an eyesore in that neighborhood — a vacant lot, you know, broken bottles, rocks, graffiti — and I want a community to get motivated ... After it's been transformed from rubble, I want to be there as we swing that gate open for the first time," Matt said.

Why is this cause important? Sixty-nine percent of low-income parents say there is no playground in their neighborhoods, and children in neighborhoods without a park are 26 percent more likely to be obese.

Track Matt and Savannah's progress on our Shine a Light TODAY Facebook page. And tell us on social media how you're pitching in, using the hashtag #ShineALight. 

Get involved! Tell TODAY here if you know an area that you think would benefit from a playground.