(StatePoint) A safe place to play is something that many parents and kids take for granted, but in scores of communities across the US, there are inadequate spaces for children to get off the streets and play different sports.
When communities have sufficient facilities, children are more likely to engage with their peers to learn important life skills through sports and physical activity. The experts at the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation (CRSF) offer some ways you can help kids in your community have a safe place to play:
Many charitable organizations are out there looking to help communities in need. Foundations like the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation help underserved kids nationwide through programming and the construction of Youth Development Parks in America’s most needy areas.
“When we started the foundation in memory of dad in 2001, we never dreamed it would have this impact on so many kids in need,” says Cal Ripken Jr., Baseball Hall of Famer and Co-Founder of the CRSF. “Our family is thrilled with the growth of the foundation and the difference it is making in communities across the country."
The CRSF has recently launched a campaign to help build more multi-purpose, synthetic turf Youth Development Parks across the country to give kids safe places to play. The fields that the CRSF are building are done in partnership with local governments, corporations, concerned individuals and youth-serving organizations.
Generally, interested communities raise or commit the first half of the money and foundations such as the CRSF will contribute the rest in the form of cash donations and savings on construction costs. They’ll then gift it to the community and provide programming for kids in need. The CRSF is currently looking for interested communities. You can find more information and ways to donate at www.RipkenFoundation.org.
Many parks departments and recreation groups run on skeleton funding and don’t have nearly enough supplies to support adequate intramural leagues and after school sports programs. Consider donating your extra sports equipment so kids have the tools needed to succeed on and off the field.
In many parts of the country, there is simply not enough staff to run after-school sports programs. Consider volunteering at a local park or after-school center. Giving your time to help kids in the community can mean the difference between a program’s survival and its demise.
Many children are shaped by their time playing sports. You can help ensure that more kids get this important opportunity.
Photo Credit: Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation