Whether you know what curling or a slalom are all about, the Winter Olympics remind us of what you can achieve with hard work and dedication. It’s a place where dreams come true and future Olympians are inspired. Sadly, for many local children their Olympic dreams are a distant reality because they lack even basic sports equipment at their public schools.
Could the next Lindsey Vonn or Chole Kim be in need of PE equipment in their school? Emily Eisner, a local teen from Los Angeles, founded the non-profit organization Play It Forward which provides sporting equipment to underprivileged schools in Los Angeles and engages students to take the lead. Only five years after holding Emily’s first equipment drive, Play It Forward has donated $180,000 worth of sports equipment for 75 schools and benefited over 55,000 children. As an athlete herself, Emily realized at a young age that values such as teamwork, responsibility, success and a strong work ethic are learned through sports in school. Those values propel you through all your future endeavors and are at the core of Play It Forward.
Although now Emily is a Freshman at Washington University in St. Louis, she continues to set new goals for Play It Forward. Reflecting on the past years with Play It Forward, Emily wrote on their website: “Whenever I watch kids with beaming smiles or even crying in appreciation from receiving sports equipment, I am reminded how little it takes and how easy it is to help others, and that it is the responsibility of every person to take care of those around them.” Emily and Play It Forward deserve a gold medal for inspiring all of us to make a difference.
Donate – Help students everywhere have sports equipment in their schools.
Volunteer – Get your kids involved and host a fundraiser in your community.