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Join the #HelpChildrenRise Spring Campaign

Play doctor

The medical play set was new to the playroom and “Jordan,” 5, immediately focused on the dental tools and the plastic mouth that opened and closed. He decided to get Play-Doh to make cavities for the teeth, then carefully used the tools to pick out the “mold,” as he called the cavities. He appointed the Playtime site manager as mom to the mouth and explained that her “child” should eat more vegetables to stop the mold from growing bigger. Then four-year-old “Amara” joined in and wrote notes about the patient on a clipboard.

Visit any of Playtime’s play programs and you’re likely to find yourself pulled into what grown-ups call dramatic play—when children act out roles and scenarios from their imaginations. Dramatic play is an important developmental process giving children a chance to express their own ideas, thoughts, and feelings in a safe and fun setting. And for children experiencing homelessness, this form of play is especially important. They get the chance to take control of a situation that may scare or confuse them. They can be the doctor or the dentist or the superhero! Dramatic play also increases language skills, builds empathy, and encourages self-control.

You play an integral role in our ability to serve children and families in shelter. As the city grapples with stopping the spread of COVID-19, Playtime is adapting and doing what it can from a distance. With your support, we are creating play kits with fun reusable toys and activities to keep the children entertained in their shelter rooms during this troubling time. We will continue to distribute emergency supplies and advocate for needed services and supports to ensure families can stay healthy and continue on the path to housing stability. As soon as it is safe, we will reopen our play programs.

On the Rise

Help us get a $25,000 matching grant provided by the Robert I. Schattner Foundation and a second $25,000 matching grant provided by Rachel Renée Russell and Nikki Russell, author and illustrator, respectively, of the #1 New York Times best-selling book series for children, Dork Diaries. All contributions will ensure children like Jordan and Amara continue to get the support they need to build resiliency and reduce the stress of homelessness compounded by this health emergency.

Join our #HelpChildrenRise campaign and get your friends, family, and coworkers involved, too. Tell them that one $25 donation turns into $75! Create a fundraising page and every dollar raised will help support families experiencing homelessness during the pandemic while ensuring safe and fun play spaces where children in shelters can constructively express emotions, solve problems, develop friendships will continue once the crisis has passed.

Take advantage of this amazing offer today!

Here’s what to do:


If creating a fundraising page isn’t feasible for you, consider a contribution on May 5 when the nation will join together for #GivingTuesdayNow, a global day of giving and unity as an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. As a partner of the United Way of the National Capital Area, Playtime will also participate in the coordinated campaign #GivingTuesdayDMV, which is this year's 8th annual Do More 24 event.

Help us raise $10,000 in 24 hours (which will go toward our $25,000 goal) to ensure access to play for hundreds of children experiencing homelessness in Washington, D.C.

Thank you for helping children rise!

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