Homeless Children's Playtime Project
WISH LIST: $100: snacks of fresh produce for 150 children; $500: 2 field trips and lunch for 15 children and youth; $1000: 6-week parenting class with food and stipends for 10 parents
Every week, more than 100 volunteers give children a much-needed opportunity: the chance to play. At five emergency shelters and transitional housing programs, the Homeless Children's Playtime Project nurtures development and reduces trauma by creating playrooms where kids can just be kids – jump into games; explore reading, and math activities; engage in imaginative play and art projects; eat healthy snacks. Kids get one-on-one attention, as well as the company of their peers, while their parents have time to rest, run errands, and participate in classes, assured that their children are safe. Monthly trips introduce children to the National Zoo, the Smithsonian, and the White House, and seasonal parties give families opportunities to relax and celebrate together. "Survival kits" – backpacks filled with games, books, art supplies, and toys – keep children engaged and active when they are away. Most kids come from single-parent, low-income families and are struggling to process the crises – from sudden eviction to domestic violence – that displaced them. They need these playtimes: to restore comfort, safety, and joy. Won't you lend a hand?