The value of play in our lives has been even more apparent during this difficult and often isolating pandemic. This past summer, Community Forklift donated cans of spray paint to Let’s Play America (LPA), a local nonprofit in Takoma Park that facilitates and promotes play activities. LPA and a teen volunteer repainted 10 hopscotches in Takoma Park and also added new ones as part of the nonprofit’s Hopscotch Project.
“Community Forklift gave LPA a grant for spray paint, which saved us money to paint the hopscotch boards” Pat Rumbaugh, Co-Founder and Executive Director at LPA, said.
“Almost daily I see children and adults stop and play at the hopscotch painted on my driveway. As for folks in the community, I often see children and adults at playgrounds playing on the hopscotch boards when I am out walking or driving by the park. This brings a smile to my face and makes me feel good [that] Let’s Play America made the time to install these painted hopscotch boards.”
LPA was one of 51 organizations that were awarded materials grants in 2020 through Community Forklift’s Community Building Blocks (CBB) Program, which distributes free building materials for projects that serve the greater community.
For as long as she can remember, Pat (also known as The Play Lady) has loved to play, which led her to become a physical education teacher and coach. I enjoyed helping students find activities they enjoyed playing. As time went on in my teaching career, I started to see the decline in fun free unorganized play. In 2009, I founded a play committee in Takoma Park. We started planning and leading play days, closing streets to play and joining other events by adding play. After each play event participants would tell me how much they enjoyed the event, how important these events were for our community and how these play events brought people together. I continued to be inspired to not only bring play to Takoma Park, but wherever the opportunity arises.”
“Playing with others of all abilities, ages and backgrounds broadens our outlook, helps us meet people we may never meet and playing is fun.”Pat Rumbaugh, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Let’s Play America
The play committee which Pat references led to the development of the non-profit Let’s Play America. LPA focuses on increasing opportunities for all people to enjoy play through partnering with communities, organizations, and individuals to create locally-inspired, playful events.
On Sunday, February 14, 2021, LPA is hosting its Mid-Winter Play Day, a virtual event of scheduled zoom activities to encourage play on Valentine’s Day!
Let’s Play America is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit that offers play services. LPA has given several years of fun FREE play opportunities to Takoma Park residents and others that have attended play events. To find out more about this organization and its play resources, visit www.letsplayamerica.org.
Every time you donate or shop at Community Forklift, you’re helping us lift up local communities through reuse. We turn the construction waste stream into a resource stream for communities in the DC region – by keeping perfectly good items out of the landfill, preserving historical materials, providing low-cost building supplies, and creating local green jobs.