Think back to your childhood. If you're like most lucky people, you have memories of playing on the playground.
Whether it was at school during recess, at a local park, or a play structure in your (or a friends') backyard, you probably spent at least an hour a day swinging, sliding, climbing, and otherwise having fun - right?
That's how it should be, for all children - everywhere. That's what we believe, and it's the mission of the non-profit, KaBOOM! According to KaBOOM (and various scientific studies we'll touch on later), play sets up children for mental, physical, and academic success.
If KaBOOM! had all the resources they needed, they'd see that "All kids get the childhood they deserve filled with balanced and active play, so they can thrive."
How? They install playgrounds and structures in communities where people haven't previously invested in neighborhood kids. This could be in cities, rural areas, or the empty lot that you're looking at out your office window right now. But only if you help!
You've already heard their vision - a world where every child has a place to play, but let's dive into a little more information about them before you give them your hard-earned funds.
They're an organization that started when the previous CEO, Darrell Hammond, read an article about two children who were killed. They were playing out in public, in an unsafe area because they didn't have anywhere else to go.
Darrell realized that not having safe places to play, run, stretch, and express joy can be life and death for kids, and he set out to change that.
He served as CEO for over 20 years, and it's safe to say he got things done. The organization has built a little under 20,000 safe places to play around the US, serving more than 10 million kids.
That was made possible by a network of 1.5 million volunteers, which doesn't include the donors that helped make it all happen.
Their current CEO, James Siegal, even managed to get the attention of Target (yes, that Target) and was able to partner with them on the "Play Everwhere" Challenge.
They're on the list of the Best Charities in America (America's Best Charities), are BBB accredited, and got GuideStar's seal of transparency for the way they operate.
If this organization isn't a good place to spend your money, then we don't know what is!
Why is Their Work So Important?
If you're thinking, "that's all great, but..." we're here to answer your questions. Play, physical, and imaginative is the first major way children learn.
They haven't been taught yet, that reading from a book or listening to your teacher is how you learn. They also don't know that failing is considered bad. Kids are great examples of trial-and-error learning, which is one of the best ways you can learn about the world around you.
Adults are capable of this learning style too, but most of us are too afraid of failure to do it.
What Does Play Teach?
Let's use an early example. If you have children or know people with children, remember how at one point, they were entertained by toys that were literally just a row of stimuli hanging above them?
As they got older, they started to reach for them. To you, it looks like they're playing, but they're really learning about spatial awareness and how to control their own bodies. Once they could grasp said toys, they started to learn about cause and effect (if I pull on this, it makes a sound) and physical limits (I can pull on this, but it won't come off).
If this sounds elementary, they're all skills you still use every day. You use spatial awareness when you're driving, walking, or trying to reach the remote to change the channel.
While you've learned how to control your body, for the most part, every time you exercise, you're learning to control it a little more.
Cause and effect? It's so ingrained in your life that you don't even think about it at this point. The light turning red causes you to stop your car.
It took you years to understand these concepts the way you do now - but it all started (however old you are) years ago, through play!
Donating to KaBOOM!
Non-profits get funds in multiple ways. They apply for grants from organizations, get individual contributions from donors, and collect partial profits from partnering with other brands.
On their website, KaBOOM offers guidance on how to donate through
- Making a fundraiser on Facebook
- Creating recurring monthly donations
- Mailing a donation
- Asking wedding/birthday guests for donation gifts
- Using Amazon Smile
- and Donating Stocks and Bonds
These are all great options, but there's one they left off: buying a No Love for Bullying t-shirt.
Not only will you get something (other than good Karma) in return for your donation, but the profits of the shirt go straight back to KaBOOM!
The t-shirt also acts as free marketing for the charity and shows that you take a stand for children and against bullies.
You'll love the high-quality fabric of the shirt, the bright and clear No Love 4 Bullies graphic, and the good it puts back into the world.
It makes a great additional gift if you're donating in someone's name, and they even have child sizes! Every time you wear it, you'll be reminded that some child, somewhere, is a laughing and playing on a new playground because of you.
KaBOOM! and No Love 4 Thanks You
No matter which way you decide to donate to KaBOOM! we know they're thanking you in advance. And if you're buying a t-shirt on our site to support them, we send our thanks as well.
For more charities to support or for other shirt choices, click here.