Sunday, February 21, 2010

Play-a-Thon for Haiti

Even preschoolers can help their Haitian peers affected by last month's devastating earthquake through Hasbro's Play-a-Thon for Haiti. Hasbro joined forces with youth service organization Youth HandsOn to create a play-a-thon toolkit for kids & families to use. It's a pretty simple concept: Have your kids invite their friends over for a play session (this would make a great birthday party--notice how old-school home/backyard parties excite kids these days, as a novel contrast to the now-dominant Chuck E. Cheese type bashes?). Provide pledge forms in advance, asking them to seek sponsors, just as one would for any other "thon" (bike, walk, dance, etc.). Little ones will need help with this, of course, but kids often are surprisingly comfortable asking for charitable donations, especially in the face of a dramatic, pressing need like Haiti's. For the play-a-thon, adults or teens set up play "stations" for children to rotate through (physical games, board games....can be tailored to age, venue, weather, etc.). The young'uns gather and enjoy, spending 15 minutes or so at each station. The hosting family or group collects pledge funds and submits them to HandsOn by March 31 to earn matching funds from Hasbro. Funds go to SOS Children's Villages for "pop-up" houses (pictured) that give Haitian children dry, secure places to live during the rebuilding process. Get everything you need for a play-a-thon here.

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