June 10, 2020  |  By:   |  Press Releases  |  

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles Department of Catholic Schools partnered with the Play Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation to
distribute free play equipment to children and families across local communities to encourage healthful activities for youth
while they are confined at home due to COVID-19 restrictions. Play equipment was distributed to any child (under age 18) who
visited one of the 7 Catholic schools for the free lunch program.

More than 7,500 pieces of play equipment were distributed at the following schools Our Lady of Guadalupe School (Boyle
Heights), San Miguel School (Watts), Santa Isabel School (Boyle Heights), St. Frances X. Cabrini School (South Los Angeles),
St. Gertrude School (Bell Gardens), St. Lawrence of Brindisi School (Watts) and St. Patrick School (North Hollywood). The
program kicked-off at St. Lawrence Brindisi where meals and equipment were distributed to more than 1,000 families. A video
and photos of the distribution are available at and
“We are tremendously grateful to the Play Equity Fund for their generous contribution of sports equipment for our most needy
children in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles,” said Paul Escala, Senior Director and Superintendent of Catholic Schools for the
Archdiocese. “The over 7,500 pieces of donated equipment will ensure students to continue their physical learning at-home and
recognizes that sports and play is a critical component to the advancement of youth development.”

The program encourages healthful activities for youth while they are confined at home due to COVID-19 restrictions, as many
children and families don’t have access to play equipment, or the support to stay active at home. In addition to the physical
benefits activity brings, movement can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that can accompany home confinement.
In collaboration with Nike, Kole Imports, Dick’s Sporting Goods, WSS and Score Sports – the Play Equity Fund and LA84
Foundation have been providing LA-area families and students with thousands of free balls, racquet sets, jump ropes and other
gear children can use to play at home.

“As kids and their families in our communities’ struggle with home confinement – and with schools and most outlets for
activity closed – we have worked with our partners on this initiative to build and support young people being active,” said
Renata Simril, President & CEO of the Play Equity Fund and the LA84 Foundation. “Play is good for everyone’s physical and
mental health. The Los Angeles Archdiocese is a valued partner for the Play Equity Fund, to reach more youth and help us
strengthen those who need it most during this time of crisis.”

The equipment was purchased through the Play Equity Fund, including support for this project specifically from the Carrie
Estelle Doheny Foundation, the John H. And Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation, and the Specialty Family Foundation.

To accompany the play equipment, the #StayActiveStayStrong program includes instructional videos featuring Olympic
athletes, pro athletes and sports figures to guide and encourage all students and families. The videos are shared on the Play
Equity Fund and LA84 Foundation social platforms, and on This series helps kids connect with the fun of
sports and promotes playing at home.