Play equipment was distributed to students at over 60 sites, including school food centers, local family centers, community centers and recreation centers
LOS ANGELES – (August 21, 2020) – With schools starting this week regionally, over the spring and summer months the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation collectively have given away 120,000 play equipment products to families and children at 60 sites across Los Angeles through the #StayActiveStayStrong program.
The goal of the program prior to schools beginning their fall semesters was to reach and support communities that lacked access to play equipment – particularly during the isolation and economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A review of the program over recent months indicates:
- The Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation gave away 120,000 play equipment products at 60 sites – including balls, racquet sets, jump ropes and other gear families and children could use to play at home. Also printed and distributed were 120,000 individual cards that included additional Play at Home resources.
- The play equipment was purchased or donated through partnerships the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation developed, including with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jack Nadel International, Kole Imports, Nike, Score Sports and WSS.
- To distribute the equipment, the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation forged partnerships with school districts feeding thousands of families in this time of need – including LAUSD, Compton, Pasadena and the schools of the L.A. Archdiocese – as well as community centers, family centers and recreation centers.
- To inspire healthy activity, the Play Equity Fund produced a series of instructional videos by Olympians and sports figures including Sarah Cahill (U.S. Olympic Women’s Ice Hockey Strength & Conditioning Coach), Michael Cooper (Los Angeles Lakers alumnus), Sebastian Joseph-Day (Los Angeles Rams), Aaron Donald (Los Angeles Rams), Austin Ekeler (Los Angeles Chargers) Kiké Hernandez (Los Angeles Dodgers), Cassidy Krug (U.S. Olympic Diver), Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams Head Coach), Katelyn Ohashi (former UCLA gymnast), Kyla Ross (U.S. Olympic Gold-Medal Gymnast), Angela Ruggiero (four-time U.S. Olympic Hockey player), Molly Schaus (U.S. Hockey Olympic player) and Jordyn Wieber (U.S. Olympic Gold-Medal gymnast). These videos are available on PlayEquityFund.org and were posted on social media. Children posted exercise videos responding to the athletes and were awarded prizes as the #PlayEquityMVP.
- Because of the generosity of residents, institutions and organizations across the region and nationally, the program generated supportive fundraising for the Play Equity Fund throughout the spring and summer to help keep children physically and mentally healthy, despite the closure of parks and sports programs. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Rams contributed to on-site play equipment distributions.
“This program of putting play equipment that encourages activity and movement directly into the hands of kids and families shows the strength of collaboration and generosity that thrives in our communities across all sectors,” said Renata Simril, President & CEO of the Play Equity Fund. “We are grateful for the cooperation of the school districts, the pro sports organizations, athletes, manufacturers, vendors and those who shipped the equipment between sites who joined with us to help as many kids as possible get the benefits of exercise in this time of need.”
While as an ongoing effort the goal was to continue the #StayActiveStayStrong program until schools restarted in August to keep kids active through the summer months, there is the potential for additional equipment distributions periodically.
ABOUT THE LA84 FOUNDATION
The LA84 Foundation is a nationally recognized leader in support of youth sport programs and public education about the role of sports in positive youth development. The foundation, with 35 years of on-the-ground experience, has supported thousands of Southern California youth sports organizations through grantmaking and funding facilities and fields of play, while also training coaches, commissioning research, convening conferences and acting as a national thought leader on important issues in the youth sports industry. LA84 levels the playing field to ensure all youth have access and opportunity despite economics, gender or ability, while elevating the field of youth sports as an integral pathway to lifelong well-being. To learn more, visit www.la84.org and @LA84Foundation on Twitter and Instagram.
ABOUT THE PLAY EQUITY FUND
A 501(c)3 public charity, the Play Equity Fund is focused on bringing the transformational power of sport and play to all children, regardless of their race, gender, zip code or socioeconomic status. To learn more about the Play Equity Fund, visit www.PlayEquityFund.org or visit @PlayEquityFund on Twitter and Instagram.