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Homeless Kids At Play In Washington, D.C.

A volunteer reads a book with a visitor at The Homeless Children's Playtime Project.
Courtesy of The Homeless Children's Playtime Project
A volunteer reads a book with a visitor at The Homeless Children's Playtime Project.

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

Two evenings a week, single dad David Barnes drops his young daughters Kayla and Alexis off for a while at The Homeless Children's Playtime Project in Washington, D.C. There they can frolic with other homeless children, ages 1 to 11, from the nearby D.C. General shelter. Thanks to the project's volunteers.

On a recent night, Nikki Zumbrun, 22, and Cecilia Volterra, 23, are reading with a couple of the 40-or-so kids. Shade Mallory, 27, likes to hang with the older girls. "We practice dance moves," she says.

Outside, the unemployed Barnes sits alone — smoking a cigarette, soaking in the quiet.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Homeless children have the opportunity to play with volunteers.
/ Courtesy of The Homeless Children's Playtime Project
/
Courtesy of The Homeless Children's Playtime Project
Homeless children have the opportunity to play with volunteers.

Linton Weeks joined NPR in the summer of 2008, as its national correspondent for Digital News. He immediately hit the campaign trail, covering the Democratic and Republican National Conventions; fact-checking the debates; and exploring the candidates, the issues and the electorate.