We’re travelling across WNY this summer giving out Play Packs!
WNY, August 13th 2020
In recent weeks, you are likely to have seen us posting on social media about our Play Packs campaign. The ones where we hand little red bags through car windows? Yep. That’s it!
We are aware it all looks a bit similar and you may be scratching your head as to what we keep posting about or why we’re doing it. Perhaps you’re unsure what the the impact is on the children who receive one of our packs. We hope this article provides some clarity on what it is we are doing, why we are doing it, and what we hope to achieve.
This summer is like no other. No need to explain why that is, but you may not be aware just how many sports programs, camps, clubs, and facilities have either been cancelled, closed, or restricted in size or scope because of the wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic. This impacts kids in low-income rural and inner-city areas far worse than their more affluent counterparts.
In the absence of organized sport, Project Play WNY and the Ralph C. Wilson Jr, Foundation made ‘free-play’ a focus for the summer and devised these Play Packs that each contain a jump rope, playground ball, two tennis balls, sidewalk chalk, free-play activity cards and a frisbee. Victory Sports was perfectly positioned to kick into gear to help purchase, assemble and distribute these packs to families that could use the light relief of the items inside.
We set out to distribute 200 in each of the eight counties of WNY. With a lack of community events taking place, we partnered with two food banks – FeedMore WNY and Foodlink – to use their mobile food pantries as an opportunity to reach the different communities we are targeting, with valuable support from many local organizations.
At the time of writing, we have been to the following counties and partnered with:
- Niagara County: Lockport Family Focus Group
- Erie County: Allentown Association
- Allegany County: Foodlink, Cuba Cultural Center & Allegany County Community Opportunities and Rural Development
- Wyoming County: Foodlink & Community Action for Wyoming County
- Orleans County: Foodlink & Community Action for Orleans & Genesee County
- Genesee County: Foodlink & Fuel Young Minds
- Chautauqua County: FeedMoreWNY & Ripley Food Pantry
We will visit Cattaraugus County on Thursday August 27th.
We want to say a huge thank you to all the local organizations we’ve mentioned above. Without their volunteers and hard work, the events wouldn’t be so smooth for us to turn up, hand out packs, and be back on the road in less than 2 hours each time.
Every event so far has been a great success. The reaction from parents, grandparents, and the kids themselves has been worth all the hard work. Most are unaware they would be receiving something extra with their visit to the foodbank that week and when we explain what’s inside and how it might help keep the kids busy, it’s been a look of relief as much as anything from the adults, and wide-eyed excitement from those younger folk in the back seat!
We have shared our story and photos from each giveaway on our website and social media as we have visited a new community each time and supported a different local partner, including municipal departments and other non-profits. It is important we share success stories with those involved and with you all, as it helps us continue our mission and reach more children who need help staying active and having fun!
If you want to know more, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. If you would like to support future efforts, please consider donating to Victory Sports via the button below.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about this campaign and we’ll be in touch again soon!