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ABC7: COOL KID Emmi Eisner Provides Sporting Goods to Underserved Los Angeles Schools


KLCS NewsBrief: Play It Forward Brings $5,000 Sunny Brae Elementary

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KTLA 5: Teen’s Nonprofit Donates $5,000 Worth of Play Equipment

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NBC 4: Teen Helps School in Need Get Sports Equipment


CBS 2: Play It Forward Nonprofit Helps Schools Get Sports Equipment


ABC 7: Cool Kids

Emily Eisner ABC News

CBS 2 / KCAL 9: Play It Forward

Emily Eisner ABC News

Play It Forward for kids, run by kids, dedicated to providing sporting equipment to underserved elementary schools.

Started in 2012 by 12-year old Emily Eisner, Play It Forward combines her passion for sports with a desire to help her community all the while encouraging her peers to be active and get involved.  The heart and dedication to the mission of Play It Forward led her to establish a 501(c)(3) in early 2013, which has allowed for the depth of the organization to grow.

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The growth and evolution of Play It Forward has exceeded even Emily’s original intention. The first year, her goal was to find a way to supply equipment to one school. She collected new and gently used sporting equipment from her friends, family, schoolmates and teammates. She also organized a relay race at her school’s annual open house, attended by thousands of families and prospective students, to raise awareness for the importance of fitness and giving kids the opportunity to live a healthy lifestyle from an early age. The equipment collection was so successful that she delivered a whole truckload of equipment to the school. She didn’t expect what she had done would be a big deal, but when she arrived at the school the entire student body was chanting her name and “Play It Forward.” Kids were running up to Emily, hugging her, crying and thanking her for what she had done. The joy and excitement on those kids’ faces was infectious from what seemed like a very simple action, giving them balls to play with.
Since it’s original inception, Play It Forward has grown and is now working hands on with school and physical education departments to ensure that every gift of equipment directly responds to a schools specific needs.  For that reason, donations and corporate sponsorships have proven to be the best way to support the organization because they allow Play It Forward the freedom to fulfill the wish lists of the schools they support.

Emily Eisner


President and Founder


Emily EisnerEmily Eisner created Play It Forward when she was 12 years old because she saw a need that was not being filled. After visiting a local elementary school in Pacoima, California, she realized that not every child has access to sports equipment during PE, recess and lunch. Five years after holding her first equipment drive to collect new and gently used sports equipment for one school, Emmi now leads an organization that has raised roughly $120,000, donated sports equipment for nearly 50 schools, and served over 32,500 children.
For Emmi, sports have always been a key component of who she is and how she identifies with the world around her. At five years old, Emmi demanded to come out of her pink tights at ballet class and to slip into a much more comfortable pair of soccer cleats. On the field, Emmi has learned the value of teamwork and also how to use her voice as a leader. The inspiration and lessons learned through her various athletic endeavors continue to provide a springboard for growth and an opportunity to see things from others’ perspectives.
Now 17, Emmi is a Senior at Sierra Canyon School in Chatsworth, California, where she serves as a captain on the varsity girls’ soccer team and also runs cross country and track. She maintains a 4.6 GPA, has been on the Head of School’s List every semester since the beginning of 7th grade and is one of six founding members of the school’s Integrity Committee. For her work with Play It Forward, Emmi was named one of 15 national recipients of the 2015 Diller Foundation Teen Award for displaying exceptional leadership in service projects, was the 2016 Prudential Spirit of Community high school award winner for the State of California, was named the 2014 Youth of the Year by The Chatsworth Community Coordinating Council and has received six gold-level Presidential service awards. In her spare time, Emmi works as a camp counselor, inspiring kids to be comfortable in their own skin and reminding them that it’s okay to sometimes be a little goofy.


To support the vision of a youth led organization, Play It Forward has an incredible collective of seasoned Directors and Advisors, with a variety of professional expertise, that provide an underlying level of experience and support to ensure the organization thrives.

Board Of Directors

  • Emily Eisner,
    President and Founder
  • Nancy Abram
  • Catherine Balin
  • Denise DeMann
  • Kym Eisner
  • Steve Eisner
  • Teri Levin
  • Elaine Lovit
  • Lou Lovit
  • Josh Rubenstein
  • Troy Samuels
  • Joy Shoemate
  • Robin Solomon
  • Catherine Tripodis
  • Orion Tripodis


The Play It Forward Youth Advisory Board (ages 7-18 years of age) underscores the key value of peer-to-peer support, empowering the students to follow their passions and recognizing the kids helping kids impact everyone around them..  The Youth Advisory Board not only helps set the organization’s short and long term goals, but they are also key implementers of programmatic marketing, promotion and fundraising efforts.

Four times a year, the group meets to strategize potential fundraisers within our various communities, creates and updates ongoing plan for social media marketing and promotion as well as thinking of new ways to self-advocate in the “adult world” for ways to expand the reach of Play it Forward.

The biggest surprise for the entire Youth Advisory Board has been the incredible satisfaction that comes from supporting other kids.  Because these underserved communities have limited to no access to physical education programs or the funds to purchase equipment, the impact on both the kids administering the program and those receiving support has been very inspiring to all involved.

By expanding the program to meet the needs of various communities, teach kids about being active, remind everyone that not all schools have the great athletic program and equipment that my school does, and give something to underserved elementary schools that they can definitely use.

To form a Youth Advisory Committee in your community fill out the Kids Helping Kids Volunteer Board.

Play It Forward is fortunate to have the following sponsors:

Taco Bell
The Charitable Foundation


Kids Helping Kids

Create a satellite program in your community. We have the tools to help you create a committee of kids in your area that runs Play It Forward events and fundraisers in your neighborhood.

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In Your School

School districts, principals and parent association volunteers can contact us directly to determine if support from Play It Forward is viable in your community.

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Our Mission


Play It Forward is a student led organization that engages students in athletics by providing sporting equipment to deserving youth.

Play It Forward Values

  • Responsibility
  • Teamwork
  • Structure
  • Relationships
  • Success
  • Participation
  • Work ethic
  • Physical Fitness

Play It Forward needs:

Funding / Equipment

  • Corporate sponsorships
  • Community partners
  • Individual Sponsors

Youth Advisory

  • Continued growth of the Youth Advisory Board to ensure Play It Forward’s longevity and enhance its reach

Commitment / School Participation

  • Increased awareness of Play It Forward within the school districts
  • Confidence that PIF Grants are truly “no string”


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