The pandemic impacted everyone. Businesses, education, social experience all faced massive changes to the status quo. Let Them Play had a fundraiser scheduled for late March of 2020 that quickly was cancelled, and our target Grant Audience was suddenly sidelined. Teams and schools everywhere were put on pause and children kept home from school. How could we make this better while staying true to our core values of Play and Sport?
I called a friend of mine in early April. She’s my go-to mentor for all things philanthropic and I needed to pick her brain about how our little foundation could help in a time of unprecedented change and need. She directed me towards historic numbers in children’s shelters and we went from there.
During the Spring and Summer of 2020, Let Them Play was able to furnish grants to four different Shelters and Care Centers that provided sporting equipment like basketballs, jump ropes, hula hoops and more to bring smiles to the children in families that had been dramatically displaced because of the pandemic. We worked with an Essential Workers Child Care Facility, two women’s shelters, and a family shelter.
These weren’t typical grants. No uniforms or water bottles. But I like to think we found a way to serve our mission and some kids while everything around us changed. The centers, like most non profits, were terribly pinched for funding, and that we could offer a small grant to make a difference was very exciting. Perhaps a little bit of normalcy and joy in an otherwise difficult time.