Hidden among D.C.’s pricey craft-cider bars, million-dollar condos and sparkling stadiums, there exist Dickensian scenes of real-life Tiny Tims. About 27 percent of the District’s children live in poverty — more than 1 in 4, according to D.C. Action for Children. The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project is an organization that began years ago, around the time social worker Jamila Larson got permission to clean out one of the empty rooms in the now-closed shelter where homeless families were living in an abandoned hospital. The playtime project creates time free of stress. It is a few hours every week where these kids don’t have to worry about rats, or theft, or having anyone on the bus find out that they don’t have a home, or that everything they own is in a plastic trash bag.
But since that shelter closed the project has had to rent motel ballrooms at gala-event rates to give the children a place to play as they have been housed in low rent rooms where playing in the hallways is not really an option. This cost has been a serious strain on the funds of the small charity and that is where Tiny Tim came to the rescue.
Every year the Ford’s theatre society votes on a charity that they will support with their performances and given the story they had chosen was a Christmas Carol and that they had read a news report about these homeless children it seemed a no-brainer who they should help. Would you not help Tiny Tim if you could? So after each performance, Scrooge, played by Craig Wallace, stood before the audience and asked them to help the homeless kids of the District.
The response was incredible, and it turned out to be their greatest charitable effort to date, raising a total donation of $100,000.00 which Larson said saved them. “I cannot even tell you what a nail-biter this time of year is for most nonprofits, especially the small, community-based ones, who raise the vast majority of our annual funds from individual donors during this time,” she said. “Sometimes, it can make or break us.”
It takes a community to care for a community and the charitable events are what allow them to do so. If you would like to know more about about this particular charity you can find them at www.playtimeproject.org/ For more on your Good News Story of the Day click here.
Story and Image from The Washington Post.