"Playtime Edventures" bedsheets donated to Center of Hope

May 22, 2023 | by Brent Rinehart

On the heels of being selected as the winner of the Charlotte Hornets Foundation’s Innovation Summit, local entrepreneur Kevin Gatlin has made a donation of his “Playtime Edventures” bed sheets, slumber bags and disposable sheets to The Salvation Army Center of Hope.

“These sheets are a tremendous morale booster for our families,” said Deronda Metz, director of social services for The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte. “When children enter our doors, we know they are going through a difficult season. These sheets help create a warm, inviting space for kids to just enjoy being kids.”

Gatlin founded his company Playtime Edventures in 2015 with a vision to provide bed sheets to lift the spirits of kids in difficult circumstances, such as children hospitalized or experiencing homelessness. The bed sheets, slumber bags, pillowcases and disposable sheets are full of up to 75 interactive games for kids to explore, play and learn. The Playtime Edventures sheets double as entertainment and learning centers, with checker boards, word searches, puzzles, language games and more. With the disposable sheets, kids can color with markers directly on them.

“One of my first donations when I founded my company was to The Salvation Army Center of Hope,” Gatlin said. “Kids experiencing homelessness should have the opportunity to just enjoy being a kid. My hope is that these sheets will create those opportunities for them to have fun with their siblings or parents. As we continue to grow as a company, reaching out to organizations like The Salvation Army will continue to be a central component of who we are.”

The Salvation Army Center of Hope serves, on average, 275 individuals every night – with around 75 children. Individuals and families receive help with basic needs, but also case management to help them overcome barriers and find housing and stability.

“We are in the business of restoring hope to families, and even something that might seem small can make a profound difference,” Metz added. “Donations like these innovative sheet sets will brighten the days of the children and families we serve.”

On March 31, Gatlin was awarded a $15,000 grant from The Charlotte Hornets Foundation and Bank of America, through its third annual innovation summit. Playtime Edventures was selected from among more than 100 applicants to the program. The competition was designed to boost economic mobility by providing social and financial capital, professional resources and skill development to participants.

Gatlin’s donation comes at a critical time. Linens and bed sheets are an ongoing need at the Center of Hope shelter. In addition, the Center of Hope operates as an overflow site for Mecklenburg County, and as the seasons change and temperatures rise, more families are expected to enter the shelter.

“My hope is that these sheets not only provide that spark of hope and joy for the families that use them today, but that this donation would encourage others in our community to get involved,” added Gatlin.

To learn more about Playtime Edventures, visit www.playtimeedventures.com. There, you can also donate a set of Playtime Edventures sheets.

In addition, The Salvation Army Center of Hope is always in need of new twin bed sheets. To make a donation of new sheets, drop them by 534 Spratt Street between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also donate financially at www.SalvationArmyCharlotte.org.

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