The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project will host their charitable Heroes of Play 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Anacostia Park. The annual course includes a scenic run along the Anacostia River.
The Children’s Playtime Project creates safe, fun play spaces inside homeless shelters across D.C., giving homeless children the chance to be children, play and connect with volunteers. Their goal is to provide transformative play programs that reduce the effects of trauma, increase resiliency and eliminate chronic family homelessness.
The organization currently serves children in four temporary housing sites in D.C. and provides evening programming for children from six months up to age 18.
“Every penny goes to activities for the children, which includes toys and games, arts and crafts supplies, healthy snacks, and field trips and guest speakers.” said Melanie Hatter, the organization’s spokesperson. “We currently have a partnership with the Smithsonian Museum where we have an hour one Saturday a month before the museum opens, giving the kids a chance to explore.”
Registration is $35, but will be waived for anyone who raises $100. Registration is open now, and can be accessed here.
The race begins at the Skating Pavilion on Anacostia Drive, where there's plenty of parking. Registration opens at 7 a.m., with the road closing for the race at 7:30. It’ll begin at 8 a.m. and the road will reopen at 9. Fun activities will be available for kids and adults after the run and the closing ceremony will begin no later than 9:30 a.m.
Water and snacks will be available, but participants should bring anything else they think they may need. WUSA9 news anchor Lesli Foster will be the Grand Marshal and will present prizes at the closing ceremony for teams and individuals who raise the most money.
For students interested in helping that don't want to run or walk the route, the organization allows volunteers to help set up, clean, cheer on races and hand out water. If any students want to volunteer, they can fill out a form online. The registration fee will be waived if volunteers decide they want to run or walk the route as well.
After the 5K run, the Children’s Playtime Project will begin its Wish List Drive to collect toy donations to fulfill the children's wish lists for the holidays. They will collect toys for about 500 children, giving them two toys each. They rely on donors to provide the toys.