The organizers of PlayStreets – the Nationwide Children’s Hospital block party-like events designed to help children get out and get active – began the summer of 2023 thinking they could have a record-breaking season on their hands.
They were right.
PlayStreets held more functions than ever before in the Columbus South Side and Linden neighborhoods, drawing more participants and setting new single-event attendance marks. The petting zoos at three events, featuring goats, sheep, a mini-donkey, ducks, rabbits, and an alpaca, were particular hits.
“We couldn’t do any of this without the warmth of our host communities, our big group of volunteers from Nationwide Children’s, and the organizations who support what we’re doing,” said Ed Miner, who coordinates the events.
PlayStreets began in 2019, through the hospital’s Healthy Neighborhoods Healthy Families neighborhood revitalization effort. The 2023 expansion was made possible by a generous donation from Bread Financial, which allowed for the purchase of a sound system, a misting tent for hot days, more tables, and several regular tents.
More than 1,400 individual Donatos pizza were distributed, along with a frozen treat at each event from Chilljoy, Johnson’s Ice Cream and Little Ladies Soft Serve. A total of 160 meal kits, representing 640 meals, were given away from Local Matters.