Shareplay Lets Kids Help Kids

Through the Arlington nonprofit, kids raise funds to provide playground equipment to schools in El Salvador.

Some aspects of childhood are universal no matter where you live. “Kids need to play,” says Yanira Umana, a native of El Salvador who now teaches Spanish at Glebe Elementary School in Arlington. Three years ago, Umana founded the nonprofit Shareplay so local elementary, middle and high school students could help other kids do just that. Shareplay supports schools in El Salvador by raising money for much-needed playground and sports equipment. Kids help the charity by designing fundraising posters, giving speeches at school assemblies and finding other ways to pitch in. A Girl Scout troop recently donated proceeds from its cookie sale, while another group of students raised money by selling steaming cups of hot chocolate during a cold snap.

So far, Shareplay has outfitted a soccer field, funded an accessible playground for kids with disabilities, and built a basketball court. “There are a lot of charities out there,” says Umana, “but so few where kids can be involved. This all comes from the Arlington community.”

Categories: Community