Last month, employees of Unity Hospital in Fridley collected outdoor activity supplies to donate to kids in the Spring Lake Park School District to keep them active for the remainder of the summer.
During a two-week drive, Unity employees donated 163 basketballs, hula hoops and other outdoor toys for kids enrolled in the Park Terrace Elementary School summer program in Spring Lake Park.
Hospital staff delivered the toys July 24 and let each kid pick one to take home, starting with the youngest child.
“I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen so many smiles,” said Jeni Asaba, marketing and communications specialist for Unity.
Summer school at Park Terrace is for a targeted population of students, many who come from low-income families, according to Colleen Pederson, director of community education in District 16.
Pederson learned of a little boy whose brother had a basketball, but wouldn’t let him play with it. Now he has his own.
“We are so excited to be able to provide these items to local, low-income kids, and we hope every child is able to have a fun-filled, active summer,” Asaba said.
Unity Hospital works with the Spring Lake Park School District in other capacities, too.
Recently, Unity provided the Panther Foundation with a $5,000 grant for its upcoming 5K and family carnival fundraiser this September.
The money will be doled out as scholarships for low-income families who can’t afford the registration fees, keeping with Unity’s goal of getting kids and families active.
“Unity continues to be a great partner,” Pederson said.
Olivia Koester is at [email protected]