Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards – Most Innovative Awareness Campaign Honoree

LOS ANGELES (April 28, 2021) – The Play Equity Fund’s #StayActiveStayStrong campaign was named the Most Innovative Awareness Campaign Honoree by the Los Angeles Business Journal Nonprofit & Corporate Citizenship Awards.

Following the Safer at Home orders directed by California public health officials in late March, The Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation pivoted from the traditional work of funding grantees, training coaches, and supporting youth sports to taking direct action to support Play at Home activities with the #StayActiveStayStrong program. The goal was to reach communities who lacked access to Play at Home equipment and to transform backyards and living rooms into playgrounds, fields, and courts with play products.

This innovative program brought together businesses, professional sports teams, multiple school districts, pro athletes and foundations to drive healthful activity and wellness for children across Los Angeles. With the closure of schools and after school programs due to COVID-19, the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation collectively gave away 120,000 play equipment products to families and children at 60 sites across Los Angeles through the #StayActiveStayStrong program.

The goal of the program was to reach and support communities that lacked access to play equipment and organized activity – particularly during the isolation and economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The play equipment (which included balls, racquet sets, jump ropes and other gear families and children could use to play at home) was purchased or donated through partnerships the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation developed, including with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Jack Nadel International, Kole Imports, Nike, Score Sports and WSS. Also, the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Rams contributed to on-site play equipment distributions. The Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation distributed printed cards with Play at Home resources to students.

To distribute the equipment, the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation forged partnerships with school districts feeding thousands of families in this time of need – including LAUSD, Compton, Pasadena and the schools of the L.A. Archdiocese – as well as community centers, family centers and recreation centers.

To inspire healthy activity, the Play Equity Fund produced a series of instructional workout videos by professional athletes, and coaches from the Chargers, Dodgers, Lakers and Rams. These videos are available on PlayEquityFund.org and were posted on social media. Children posted exercise videos responding to the athletes and were awarded prizes as the #PlayEquityMVP

The #StayActiveStayStrong program was featured in the Los Angeles Times, on MSN.com, KABC, KCAL, KCBS, KTLA, KTTV, Telemundo, in the Los Angeles Daily News, and several other media outlets.

Looking forward, the Play Equity Fund continues to encourage and inspire youth through sports and strives to level the play equity gap.

Please join the movement to ensure all children have the same access and opportunities. Support Spring Into Play, the Play Equity Fund, the LA84 Foundation and countless other organizations who believe in the transformative value of youth sports. Healthy kids mean healthier communities – and a richer life for all of us.