The Playful Child Foundation was established in 2018 after the sudden and tragic death of founder, Julie Damian's son, Kade. Our mission is healthier kids mentally and physically. We work to create opportunities for children, families, and the community to grow, connect, and heal through play.
So often, we see children who are out of shape, disconnected from each other, and not equip to navigate the world around them. Parents are super busy and stressed trying to succeed in a world that moves faster than they can keep up in. People move from one activity to the next, trying to give their children the best they can offer, but at the end of the day feeling isolated from others.
Relationships are made online through likes and follows, instead of in person, where we chat and meet face to face and develop meaningful relationships. In an elevator, people put in ear buds and immediately reach for a phone to avoid eye contact and conversations. Then we wonder why our children have trouble connecting at school and making friends?
Children have play dates scheduled for them instead of going out and finding neighborhood kids to play with. Parents often jump in to solve issues instead of letting children problem solve and practice effective communication and conflict resolution skills. Schools, even in preschool, have taken free, open-ended play like recess, art, blocks, and the home center away in favor of academic seat work that is often not age appropriate. All of these things have created issues, stress, and discontent and disconnect.
The Playful Child Foundation sees play as essential to healthy mental and physical child development. Educating parents, decision makers, and the community about the vital benefits of play is our ultimate goal. Play has the power to heal hearts. This phrase applies to hearts grieving the loss of a child and sibling, but also hearts that have experienced any trauma such as bullying, isolation, a move, bouncing from one foster care to another.
The Playful Child sees the Kade Damian Healing Hearts Park as the physical embodiment of our mission. The park will be a place to heal hearts and bring the community together to play and connect.
We are currently working to raise the estimated 1 million dollars needed to break ground on the park. The conceptual designs have been created and the next phase is creating the construction plans. Construction plans are estimated to cost $150K. Read more about what it takes to build a park on our blog.
On April 30 at Berry Creek Country Club, The Playful Child Foundation is holding a benefit concert and gala titled Songs in the Key of Kade to raise the funds needed to begin working on the construction plans for the park. Information about early bird pricing and the amazing evening we have planned are below or can be found by clicking here. We invite you to join us in making play a priority in everyday life. Learn more about the healing power of play and how you can help build the Kade Damian Healing Hearts Park!