The LEGO Group announced $1 million in grant funding as been awarded to six local nonprofit organizations that serve children and families across the Greater Richmond region.
These awards are the result of a commitment made at the groundbreaking for the company’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing site in Chesterfield County and will help create and expand vital programming and initiatives to help kids from diverse backgrounds and abilities learn through play.
Carsten Rasmussen, chief operations officer for the LEGO Group, said, “Today we are pleased to extend our support for the greater Richmond community. This new factory is a strategic addition to our global supply network that sets us up for long-term growth. Playing a meaningful role in the communities in which we operate and call home is an integral part of this strategy.”
Lizabeth Sklaroff, social responsibility director for the LEGO Group said, “At the LEGO Group, children are our role models, and we express that not only through play, but also through our work in local communities. We know that play is essential to children’s development of holistic skills, such as critical thinking, imagination, and problem solving, that enable them to thrive in a fast-paced world – today and in the future. We are so pleased to announce our latest round of grant funding for these important local organizations that will deliver play-based programming to support kids across the greater Richmond area. We look forward to further bolstering these exciting new partnerships with the skills and expertise of our passionate LEGO volunteers in the coming months and years.”
The company announced the following grants:
- Blue Sky Fund – Grant supports STEM-based outdoor education and play-based opportunities for Richmond public school students through the organization’s Explorers program.
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Richmond – Funding to advance Playful Pathways, a hands-on, skill-based program that empowers underserved youth through fun and engaging activities to inspire a love of learning and self confidence.
- James River Association – Award increases access to immersive, hands-on outdoor education and play-based learning, bolsters organizational capacity to extend programming through new formats.
- Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden – Grant expands organizational capacity for youth and family engagement programs to reach early learners with playful learning experiences and increases access for more children from under resourced communities to participate in the summer camp program.
- SOAR365 – Grant furthers pediatric therapy program offering early intervention and outpatient therapy that incorporates play, literacy, and assistive technology to help children reach their potential.
- YMCA of Greater Richmond – Funding supports Power Scholars Academy, an enrichment program that reaches at-risk students, combining academic enrichment, playful experiences, mentorship, and family engagement.
Today’s awards build on the company’s existing support for play-based programming at local museums. In 2022, the LEGO Group provided $300,000 in support of the Children’s Museum of Richmond and the Science Museum of Virginia as part of the national LEGO Playful Learning Museum Network initiative.
With the holiday season in full swing, so is the company’s annual “Build to Give” program. Anyone who builds a heart out of LEGO bricks and shares a picture of it with the message #BuildtoGive by December 31 can help support donations to children in need of play around the globe.
More than 6.5 million LEGO sets have been donated through the LEGO Group’s #BuildToGive initiative since 2017.