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Can Play

Cause Area

  • Children & Youth
  • Community
  • People with Disabilities
  • Race & Ethnicity
  • Sports & Recreation


6500 Grand AveWest Des Moines, IA 50266 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Can Play brings adapted and no cost recreational programs to our communities by removing barriers to play.


Our Opportunity programs provide no-cost programs to youth living in low-socioeconomic areas without the financial opportunity to participate in organized activities. Our participants primarily attend schools with free and reduced lunch participation rate exceeding 75% and more than two-thirds of our participants identify with a minority group. To ensure our Opportunity program’s accessibility, we utilize centrally located community facilities, provide transportation assistance, translate our flyers, provide a meal every night, and give out all the materials needed to participate. Our Courage programs provide adaptive programs to special needs youth and adults, who have few opportunities to be active in the community. As a result, special needs youth are more than half as likely to participate in out-of-school programs as typically developing youth and have a much greater likelihood of struggling with their health. Our objective when serving this population is to provide adapted programming and personalized support for their abilities so everyone can participate. Our three primary adaptations include rolling (e.g. wheelchairs), energy to burn (e.g. ADHD) and every move counts (e.g. limited range of motion).

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