Partner Spotlight: Hoops4Kids – Warriors Community Foundation

At Playworks, we live by our core values: respect, inclusion, healthy play and healthy community.  Every day our coaches, like Akil, are out on the playground embodying these values, and showing our kids who they can be like as adults.  We include everyone in our games.  We use teamwork to get active and have fun.  And we show our kids that together, we can be champions.

We’re lucky enough to have some partners in our community that share and help us stand up for these values.  I love watching the Golden State Warriors demonstrate these core values every day in their game.  These players are huge role models for our kids, and we’re seeing them move closer to their own championship with every game – but the best part is that they are doing it in a healthy and respectful way.  

We’ve got some superstars on the team, four starters that could each easily hog the spotlight.  But do they? No, they lead the NBA in the highest number of assists.  Their bench is strong.  Their motto is Strength in Numbers.  This is exactly what our kids need to learn – that we are more powerful sharing leadership and getting out on the court together.  Playing hard, respecting the game, and most of all having fun.

Double high fives to our partners at the Warriors Community Foundation for being such valued partners and go Dubs!

-Michelle Collier, Development Director

Read More

Donor Spotlight: John and Julia Hinshaw

John and Julia Hinshaw have been generously supporting Playworks for the past several years. I met John Hinshaw at his offices, where he is Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Hewlett Packard Enterprise. Approachable and engaging, John spoke about his and Julia’s care for Playworks.


For John and Julia Hinshaw, supporting Playworks represents not only their dedication to improving the lives of children, but it is also aligned with their thoughtful approach to philanthropy. Their passion for education began early. John’s father was a teacher for 40 years, and as he grew up John was able to see the incredible difference that his father made in the lives of his students. Julia is very involved in their children’s (ages 13, 9 and 5) school, and John serves on the board of the National Academy Foundation, which connects high school students with businesses and provides internship opportunities. John also served on the Host Committee of Super Bowl 50, the most philanthropic Super Bowl to date, of which Playworks was a beneficiary.

I had the opportunity to ask John a few questions about their support of Playworks.

How did you get involved with Playworks?

Leaders from around the globe were convening in Palo Alto to discuss strategy at HP, now Hewlett Packard Enterprise. I was looking for an activity to engage the group but also one that offered the opportunity to give back to our community. We worked (and played) with Playworks at two East Palo Alto Schools, alongside of coaches and junior coaches, making hundreds of equipment bags for Northern California schools. It was a meaningful experience for many of the participants, including me. Coincidentally, I discovered that a colleague, Lisa Edwards EVP at Salesforce, served on the Playworks National board, which strengthened my affinity with the organization.

Why Playworks?

Playworks is making an impact on more than 700,000 kids Nationally and I know you are poised for growth. We moved to this area 4 years ago, and we’ve noticed an over rotation on academics with immense pressure to have the smartest kids with the highest test scores. We believe that a happy, fulfilling life requires more than that.

Speaking of kids, your children have donated to Playworks. How did that come about?

Each year, we give our children some money to donate to charities of their choice. We provide them with information about a number of organizations, and they choose. They loved the mission and the impact of Playworks.

Advice to others?

Get out to a playground! Experience the organization for yourself. You will see children getting their energy out in a positive way, solving problems and being leaders on school campus. And, although we sometimes forget, adults can benefit from play too!

What would you like to see Playworks doing in the future?

We’d love to see the organization expand to at least 1 million children. It would also be great to see how Playworks, especially the Junior Coach leadership program, impacts kids as they move through their school life. Other than that, keep doing what you’re doing…decreasing bullying, increasing physical activity and developing leaders through play!

-Patricia O’Brien, Executive Director

Read More

Partner Spotlight: Warriors & the Warriors Community Foundation

We are honored to have partnered with the Golden State Warriors and the Warriors Community Foundation over the past couple of years. As the season gears up, we want to share what this partnership means for our community and beyond!

Last year alone, through the Warriors Hoops for Kids program, the team’s three-pointers generated more than $440,000 for local organizations serving youth. As a part of this program, these organizations were able to expand their impact in the Bay Area!

Lincoln Elementary/Playworks student Poinciana Hung-Haas and Playworks Site Coordinator Pete Best with Warriors All-Star guards Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.
Lincoln Elementary/Playworks student Poinciana Hung-Haas and Playworks Site Coordinator Pete Best with Warriors All-Star guards Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry.

Where did the Hoops for Kids program originate and what would you say is its greatest success?

Hoops for Kids began two seasons ago with founding support from the Koret Foundation and the Taube Family Foundation. Last season Pacific Gas and Electric Company joined as a presenting sponsor and we were delighted to welcome several new supporting sponsors as well. Thanks to Hoops for Kids, our team’s success is now our community’s success!

Why did Playworks seem like a great fit for the Warriors’ Community Foundation and its goals?

Along with financial support, the Warriors have created amazing experiences for many at-risk Playworks students in Northern California. Most recently, to encourage healthy eating and staying active, in partnership with Kaiser Permanente, Brandon Rush mentored Playworks’ kids on living a healthy lifestyle through the Get Fit program! Get Fit will reach nearly 60,000 students at 111 Bay Area elementary schools this season helping to create a culture of health and wellness for students, staff and teachers at schools across the region.

Events and programming during the academic year will leverage Kaiser Permanente’s expertise and the Warriors’ and Playworks’ network to encourage healthy choices and behavior. Students will be provided with positive activities and experiences to take back to their classrooms, homes and communities. Kaiser Permanente and Playworks curriculum will also be hosted online at to highlight good nutrition and safe and fair play.


Thank you to the Golden State Warriors and the Warriors Community Foundation for being incredible partners for kids across the Bay Area. Also a big congratulations for winning the NBA Championship! We look forward to great success this season and to celebrating at the upcoming games!


About the Warriors Community Foundation and Hoops for Kids

Established in 2012 in conjunction with the new Lacob and Guber ownership group, the Warriors Community Foundation is dedicated to making a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of underserved youth in the San Francisco Bay Area. Last season, the Warriors Community Foundation made $1.5 million in grants for youth development. The team also donated more than 12,000 tickets to Warriors games and refurbished public basketball courts in Oakland, San Francisco and Richmond.

As part of the Warriors Hoops for Kids program, a partnership with the Warriors Community Foundation, the Koret Foundation, Taube Family Foundation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Warriors achievements on the court support underserved youth in the Bay Area. Through Hoops for Kids, every Warriors three-pointer made during the regular season yields $500 for organizations working locally to improve educational opportunities and life outcomes for kids. For more information on Hoops for Kids, visit

Read More

The NFL Foundation and 50 Fund have partnered with Playworks Northern California

We’re excited to share our involvement in the Bay Area’s Super Bowl 50! In partnership with the NFL Foundation and the 50 Fund we will get more kids playing in Bay Area.

The NFL Foundation and 50 Fund have partnered with KaBOOM!, Playworks and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to develop PLAY 60, Play On. The three-part platform – Where We Play, How We Play and Why We Play – will bring the nation’s best play initiatives together for Super Bowl 50 with charitable projects revolving around the values PLAY 60 instills.


The NFL Foundation and 50 Fund, the legacy fund of the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee, announced today a new Super Bowl 50 initiative for Bay Area youth and communities called PLAY 60, Play On. The program is part of a Super Bowl Legacy Grant Initiative that includes a $1 million grant from the NFL Foundation that has been matched by the 50 Fund.

Super Bowl 50 has set a goal to be the most philanthropic ever,” said Kamba Tshionyi, Chair of 50 Fund. “Adding PLAY 60, Play On to our 50 Fund initiatives will ensure that we continue to not only make thoughtful grants that help close the opportunity gap for low-income children and youth in our region, but that we also inspire others by lifting up the stories of impact that result from these investments.”

PLAY 60, Play On will include a community grants program, a series of play extravaganzas and youth worker trainings, the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, and a new 30-day kids fitness program. The campaign will help reach tens of thousands of Bay Area kids and young adults throughout the nine-county region, while also impacting children around the globe.

“The NFL Foundation is proud to team with the 50 Fund to establish the PLAY 60, Play On initiative,” said NFL Foundation Director, Alexia Gallagher. “Leaving a positive and lasting legacy for youth and families in the San Francisco Bay Area long after the final whistle on Super Bowl 50 Sunday is an NFL priority.”

PLAY 60, Play On Grants Include:

  • Community Grants Program: Where We Play. In partnership with KaBOOM!, the 50 Fund will make up to $750,000 available to Bay Area communities to apply for grants that turn every day spaces into places for play. Guided by the latest behavioral research and examples from communities across the U.S. and around the world, communities will be inspired to remove the “hassle factors” that are barriers to play, and consider creative ways to activate sidewalks, pocket parks, bus stops, and other highly-utilized areas so parents and caretakers can include more play in their children’s daily lives.
  • Play Extravaganzas and Youth Worker Trainings: How We Play. Starting in October, Playworks will host a number of Football Extravaganzas where up to 1,000 children and youth will practice their skills and learn new ones with Playworks coaches while participating in games, drills and other fun activities. In addition, Playworks’ two-day Play Leadership Essentials training and Play Days will be offered to youth workers of all 50 Fund grantees (more than 60 Bay Area organizations to date). The training is based on Playworks’ evidence-based model that has been shown to reduce bullying, improve feelings of safety and increase physical activity. This training is estimated to benefit more than 25,000 Bay Area children and youth who participate in these organization’s out-of-school-time programs.
  • U.S. Fund for UNICEF: Why We Play. On the heels of the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, PLAY 60, Play On is partnering with The U.S. Fund for UNICEF to empower kids in the Bay Area to get active and help save the lives of children around the world.  In the month leading up to Super Bowl 50, Bay Area grade school children will take on a unique challenge that will allow them to learn about the issues faced by their peers in other countries and make a difference just by running, playing and having fun. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more.
  • NFL PLAY 60 Challenge, Super Bowl Edition: Coming to schools this fall, this annual challenge is anchored on NFL PLAY 60, the league’s campaign to encourage kids to be physically active for 60 minutes a day. In collaboration with the American Heart Association, the NFL PLAY 60 Challenge inspires kids to get the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity a day in school and at home. It also helps schools become places that encourage physically active lifestyles year-round. More information on the program, which will be open to Bay Area 4th and 5th graders, will be available in October.

To help kids, families and communities learn more, a website has been created with more detail on each program component (

For more information, view the full press release on the Super Bowl 50 Host Committee website.

Read More

Donor Spotlight: Peery Foundation

We had the pleasure of speaking with Avani Patel, Local Portfolio Director at the Peery Foundation and to get her perspective on our amazing partnership. This school year the Peery Foundation supported our direct-service program at Costaño School, Cesar Chavez Academy, Willow Oaks School, and Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto.

AvaniThere are hundreds of amazing organizations in our community, what made Playworks stand out to the Peery Foundation?

There are two main reasons we support Playworks. The first being the impact you can see that Playworks has had on the overall happiness of kids. At any of the school campuses it’s clear that most children have a purpose or add value to the structure of play outside. The impact on creating a school culture where kids feel valued is almost immediate.

The second reason is that Playworks is a real response to what the schools have stated they want and need. Time and time again I’ve heard that Playworks has been a great partner for the schools!

What’s your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of my role is getting to spend my time and energy in the community and with the people who rise or work in East Palo Alto because of the Peery Foundation’s commitment to the community. As a former Ravenswood educator, I’ve seen first-hand the difference that can be made in this amazing community filled with people of several different circumstances. When compared to other neighboring communities, many people view and treat East Palo Alto differently in terms of dignity and respect. This is one reason why the Peery Foundation focuses on instilling value and dignity in East Palo Alto youth. (Read more about Avani and the Peery Foundation’s Commitment to East Palo Alto in this great blog post!)

What do you see as the biggest successes of the Peery Foundation’s giving?

One of the biggest recent successes is our new grantee-centric approach for making grants in which we are able to provide funding for all 7 Ravenswood School District schools. It’s taken time to build these relationships and provides us the ability to fund causes district wide as well as the particular needs of each school. We like to respect the culture of each school and provide to their specific needs.

Other big successes include Playworks and CASSY who both provide transparent communication and provide specific needs for Ravenswood schools.

About: The Peery Foundation invests in and serves social entrepreneurs and leading organizations in East Palo Alto, on the San Francisco Peninsula, and around the world. Their mission is to strengthen youth and families to build lives of dignity and self-reliance.

Read More