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Celebrating 25 Years of Peacebuilding

A Gratitude Letter to Our Community

Jonah May Alapan, wrote this story.

On Saturday, April 20th, we held an 80-person gathering in Chicago to mark 25 amazing years with Play for Peace. The event included; an icebreaker led by Sarah and Craig Dobkin, co-founders of Play for Peace. Christa shared her personal journey with Play for Peace, reminding us of the profound impact our organization has had on individuals and communities around the world. Marilyn welcomed Karen McKinney, a powerhouse in academia and the nonprofit sector. Karen took us on a journey through Play for Peace's past, honoring co-founders Craig and Michael for their vision and leadership. Karen introduced Linda Hartman-Reehl, our board chair during the challenging times of COVID-19. Linda shared her own journey with Play for Peace, highlighting the organization's adaptability and resilience in the face of adversity.

As we reflect on this journey, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for each individual who has contributed to our cause, whether through volunteering, donating, mentoring, or simply spreading the message of peace.

My personal odyssey with Play for Peace began over two decades ago with a humble invitation that led me to Guatemala. Little did I know then, it was the commencement of an extraordinary voyage dedicated to peace-building through the transformative power of play. Over the years, I have witnessed countless moments of courage, resilience, and solidarity among communities facing unimaginable challenges.

From the bustling streets of Chicago to the remote villages of Vietnam, our work has transcended borders and boundaries, uniting individuals from diverse backgrounds in a common pursuit of peace. Through cooperative play and community service, we have witnessed the profound impact of simple acts of kindness and compassion in bridging divides and healing wounds.

One of the most inspiring aspects of our journey has been the unwavering commitment of our volunteers and donors. Despite facing numerous obstacles, from financial uncertainties to geopolitical conflicts, they have remained steadfast in their dedication, illuminating the path forward with their generosity and compassion.

As we look towards the future, we are embracing the power of community and collective leadership. Initiatives like the Roundtable and The Council empower individuals to take ownership of our mission, ensuring that our work continues to thrive for generations.

As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, I am filled with hope and optimism for the future. We can build a more peaceful world, one community at a time. So, let us continue to stand together, united in our commitment to breaking the cycle of violence and building a future where all humanity can thrive.

I offer my deepest gratitude to all who have joined us on this incredible journey. Your support and dedication have been the driving force behind our success, and I am honored to stand alongside each and every one of you as we continue to make a difference in the world.

Thank you.

Play for Peace Team