Local Children’s Museum makes Big Impact with PlayPacks

MORRISTOWN, NEW JERSEY - There were lots of smiling faces of children this past Saturday, July 11, 2020, as they received a backpack full of art supplies and snacks. MOMI, Museum of Imagination + Innovation distributed 150 backpacks to children at the last free food drive at St. Margaret’s Church in Morristown that was organized by HELP MorrisNOW.

MOMI had plans this summer to hold in-person hands-on activities for children and their families at several local Morristown outdoor events. Due to the pandemic, these activities were canceled so MOMI Founders, Nicole Pittaluga of Morris Township and Sara Sorenson of Basking Ridge, decided to create Summer Fun “PlayPacks” for local families in the Morristown area that have been hardest hit by the pandemic. The PlayPacks invite learning through play at home. Inside each pack were items for indoor and outdoor play such as watercolor paints, colored pencils, an art pad, play dough, a jump rope and sidewalk chalk. MOMI was able to provide child-sized mask for each child receiving a PlayPack. 

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The impact goes further with MOMI supporting local Morristown businesses such as Fully Promoted Morristown and Learning Express Toys and The Teaching Room of Morristown also affected by the pandemic by purchasing the backpacks and backpacks contents from them. The cost of every PlayPack was $25. The costs of the backpacks were partially covered by a 2020 MORRISTOWN ROTARY CLUB grant. MOMI raised an additional $1750 through social media to cover the total $3750 cost for the 150 backpacks. Snacks of Craisins and chocolate-filled marshmallows were generously donated by Ocean Spray and Stuffed Puffs. 

“It was wonderful to see the community building efforts of HELP MorrisNOW. We knew we wanted to be part of it, because community building is a big part of our mission. We thank all those who contributed to the PlayPack project and the many volunteers that helped pack and distribute the PlayPacks. The pandemic has shined a spotlight on the simple things that many of us take for granted. It was wonderful to provide simple items that inspire joy, creativity and imagination. I will cherish the memory of seeing the excitement on the face of the children as they peered into the PlayPacks to see what was inside,’ says Nicole Pittaluga, MOMI Co-Founder. 

With more summer days ahead MOMI would like to provide more children in our area with PlayPacks that create opportunities for learning through play. If you would like to sponsor this project, please contact nicole@thinkmomi.org for more information. 

For information on MOMI, please visit www.thinkmomi.org or their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thinkmomi


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