Posts Tagged ‘Susan Sarandon’

Ping Pong Volunteer for Charity

68417_3823So we’re searching the Internet looking for a great charity where we can donate a great, high-end table tennis table–we moved it out here from the east coast and it’s never been out from under the cover for two years–here in California we live on a hill so there is no flat space to play. We’re finally biting the bullet to let it go, as much as we loved playing, so others can get some actual and more regular enjoyment from it. Hopefully a rec program for kids somewhere, or veterans, or similar organization will love it…

But the thing is, in searching for a donation place, I stumbled upon a charity category I’d not previously known: Table Tennis charities and volunteer organizations. Who’d-a-thunk you could play ping pong and make this a better world?

The sport, it turns out, is a great focus builder for patients facing illness like Alzheimer’s, as well as in long-term medical facilities, senior centers, veteran’s programs, and as I’d been looking for, after school programs and residential programs for kids. A parallel category is organizations that have missions unrelated to table tennis, but use the sport, and tournaments, as fundraising opportunities for their cause.

As usual–all these folks need inspired volunteers. There are lots of regional table tennis charities and events you can look up near you, and a couple larger, long established  ones as well, like the following:

Table Tennis Charity Foundation puts the spotlight on the therapeutic value of ping pong (I know, serious players probably bristle at me using the term ping pong…but repeating table tennis a zillion times is tiresome to read…and write)—they work with partners who service those with Alzheimer’s, dementia, depression, and intellectual challenges, including but not limited to senior citizens.

Ping Pong for Charity is an annual tournament raising money for the non-profit organizations they support.

Amazing actress/activist Susan Sarandon is an owner in SPIN Galactic, a group of ping pong clubs in New York, Milwaukee, Los Angeles, Toronto, and Dubai, and as you’d expect, they have a robust “Giving Back” mission, partnering with local and international charities.

Celeb Charity Ping-Pong Ball for Uganda

Photo: SPiNYC

Susan Sarandon has a wicked smash. She has been a table tennis fan and player for ages, and even has a NYC private table tennis/social club called SPIN. It is a natural fit that Sarandon, along with pal, Mary-Louise Parker, would host a charity Ping-Pong ball filled with famous folks with gigantic hearts…and you. The event, on March 27, will raise vital funds for Hope North Uganda, a charitable organization that provides safe haven in Northern Uganda for children who have been abducted and forced to serve as soldiers in the brutal civil war. Orphans, refugees, and escaped soldiers call the 40-acre campus home, and in addition to safety and shelter, they find vocational training, education, and security–perhaps for the first time in their young lives.

The table tennis charity night will also feature a live auction, and performances by Rufus Wainwright, Josh Ritter, Jesse Malin, Martha Wainwright, Charlie Mars, and Hope North founder Okello Kelo Sam. Lots of recognizable folks from the entertainment industry will be on hand, slapping paddles, dancing, and partying, including some of the host committee, like Forest and Keisha Whitaker, Julian Schnabel, Malaak and Chris Rock, Piper Perabo, Julianne Moore, Adrian Grenier, and Ellen Barkin. It’s barely more than 30 bucks to join, and if Manhattan’s 23rd Street is beyond your reach on that Sunday evening, think about donating to support Hope North.