Mom of two invites families to come play together, learn about giving back in our community, and benefit those affected by homelessness
Jennifer Hull, a Frisco mom of two boys, ages 10 and 12, is co-chairing Family Gateway’s 2nd Annual DAY to PLAY on April 27, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., at AT&T Performing Arts Center’s Annette Strauss Artist Square.
“Families will love all the fun activities we have for kids, and it gives parents a way to open the dialog to talk about how other families live and the struggles they may face,” said Jennifer Hull. “It’s also an opportunity for kids to be included in supporting a charity that supports families and kids just like them.”
Event highlights include: Music by DJ Kaivan “KB” Bazleh and kids’ DJ lessons from OontzKids; a live performance by singer, dancer, and HeARTS of Maya founder Maya Delgado; group yoga by Hanuman Homies; bounce houses; inflatable slides; an obstacle course and climbing wall; life-size Hungry Hungry Hippos game; dunking booth with local celebrity guests; bungee run; gaming truck; Giant Chess, Jenga, and Connect Four; hamster ball races; kids’ disco; Lego building; robo-surfing; dual hoop basketball; hockey shots by the Dallas Stars Foundation; an appearance by Dallas Stars mascot Victor E. Green; putting green courtesy of The First Tee; selfies with superheroes and characters; photo booth, and more.
Interactive booths by nonprofit partners offering education, outreach and volunteer opportunities for children include Capes for Kindness, Dallas Stars Foundation, Dallas Zoo, Hanuman Homies, HeARTS of Maya, Kids Helping Kids TX, National Charity League, Nasher Sculpture Center, The First Tee of Greater Dallas, Wee Volunteer and more. Exhibitor booths by area businesses catering to kids include DART, DFW Child, Explore Horizons,OontzKids, Pediatric Associates of Dallas and Raising Cane’s. Kid friendly concessions and beverages (including beer, wine, and champagne for adults) will be available for purchase through Wolfgang Puck Catering.
DAY to PLAY brings families together for a day filled with activities and discoveries geared to children. From lawn games and yoga to live music and crafts, entertainment is paired with a focus on volunteerism and community service, including a basic overview of the scope of families who are experiencing or are near homelessness in Dallas. Proceeds from DAY to PLAY will support Family Gateway’s mission to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness in Dallas. Also, during the event, Family Gateway will present its inaugural Annette G. Strauss Community Service Award to the Miltenberger family for their tireless service to families affected by homelessness. The late Annette Strauss, former Dallas mayor, was the founder of Family Gateway. Joining Hull as event co-chairs are Jen Fahrenbruch and Mandy Main. Honorary Chair is Stephen Hipp.
“We are also excited to announce that Family Gateway is also launching a Kicks for Kids Campaign and will be collecting donations of new tennis shoes at this event for children at Family Gateway!” added Hull. “So please don’t forget to pick up a pair before you head to the event on April 27.”
A DAY to PLAY Family Pass is $50 and covers admission for one family, regardless of size, in honor of Family Gateway’s work as the only shelter in Dallas that serves families of all kinds. Attendees can also sponsor a $50 Family Pass for a family affected by homelessness to attend.
The interventions Family Gateway provides give children the chance to build resiliency and competence to break the detrimental cycle of homelessness. Last year, the agency served an unprecedented 1,422 families. Family Gateway is unique in that many shelters have restrictions on what constitutes a family. At Family Gateway, single parents with children, families with older male children, multi-generational families, families with same gender parents – all are welcome. Family Gateway keeps families together and works with them as they are.
“Family Gateway does an amazing job serving families in so many ways,” added Hull. “Our family has enjoyed many volunteer opportunities together as a family there. We have served dinner, assisted with the Holiday Shopping event, and we even threw a big dance party for the kids at the shelter, hosted by my son who is a DJ.”
Exhibitor space is $500 and includes a tent, table, signage and the opportunity to market to attendees while offering a child-friendly activity for event goers. Sponsorship opportunities start at $500. For more information, visit www.familygateway.org/events/dtp or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The fast pace of family life today makes it easy to forget that just spending time together with our kids is so important,” said Jennifer Hull. “DAY to PLAY not only benefits the incredible work of Family Gateway but also gives parents an extraordinary interactive opportunity to introduce or reinforce the importance of helping others. I hope to see you on April 27! Come play and spend a wonderful day with your family.”
About Family Gateway
As the county-wide point of entry (access point) for families with children experiencing or near homelessness, Family Gateway believes in providing housing first and then using trauma-informed services to help break the cycle of poverty. The mission of Family Gateway is to provide stability and life-changing supportive services to children and families affected by homelessness. For more information, visit www.familygateway.org.