Happy New Year! 2012 was a big year for Kids Play International, bringing focus and growth to our purpose and original intent. Here are just a few of our favorites, firsts, and finest!

Kids Play Int’l was named one of the 200 charities to participate in the ICAP Charity Day, an International event that raises grants with the help of ICAP and each foundation’s celebrity ambassadors. We were very lucky to have these three amazing Olympians represent Kids Play Int’l: April Ross, Chellsie Memmel, and Angela Hucles.

The mission and goal that drives Kids Play International has always been powerful (you might say the force is strong with this one). However, this year we upped the ante to bring a more purposeful intention on the areas we really want to focus on (e.g. communities influenced by genocide). We’ve got big goals and we’re not afraid to admit it.

Tracy Evans led a volunteer trip to Rwanda with Olympians, athletes, photographers, and passionate volunteers. We visited local schools, led a coaches clinic, brought over sports equipment, hosted a 3-day sports camp, and had a fantastic experience immersing ourselves in the country’s vibrant culture.

We grew! In 2012, we spent hours and hours (with the delightful support of coffee and cool music) planning new trips for the upcoming year. With the support of a brand new website (yay!), we’re offering more volunteer trips than we ever have, providing more opportunities for everyone to get involved!

Photo by Joelle Leder Photography

New York City had its first ever Kids Play Int’l Cocktails for a Cause. Olympians and supporters packed the house for an exciting evening of laughing, drinking, mingling and fundraising in the Big Apple.

What will 2013 bring? That’s for another blog, my friend!