949-428-3900 29 Hubble, Irvine CA 92618 | Mon – Closed | Tues – Sun 10am – 4pm

Original Sprout

Donor Spotlight >> 

Original Sprout

As a company, one of Original Sprout’s core philosophy’s is that the safe development of children should be everyone’s priority. Keeping with that philosophy, when Original Sprout met Pretend City, it was like we were long lost sisters sharing the common goal of nurturing our children by keeping them safe and healthy. From that point that we knew we needed to deepen our friendship with Pretend City. Part of deepening the friendship is understanding that although we have similar goals, we are very different businesses. Pretend City is a non-profit organization and Original Sprout is a publicly owned company.  We understand the need for donations to grow Pretend City. We believe when anyone donates, they want to feel good about their donation and feel they gave their money to a good cause. Pretend City can make anyone feel good about donating and knowing their donation is focused on building better brains! 

The most important work Pretend City does is their work with Autistic children.  We have tabled at these events and have observed the tranquil play settings, the low lights to keep the kids calm, and the extra attention given to the kids that need this the most.  We also view this as equally important for the parents of autistic children.  We see the relief in their faces as they watch their child interact with others just as challenged as their own. There is an overwhelming sense of “I’m not alone” for the parent and the child when attending Family Autism Night. While we think everything at Pretend City is great, we feel the attention to Autism is the most important. 

We don’t necessarily have a story but more of an observation.  We love watching the instincts of a child. Kids feel empowered and act instinctively when they are at Pretend City. An example is when you see a child enter the Trader Joe’s for the first time. The child does not need instructions of any kind. They instinctively know the first thing they have to do is grab a cart or a basket. Then select items of their liking from the shelves and ultimately, they know to scan the items through the checkout stand. All of this without being told or asked. You can see this throughout Pretend City.  We see it at the UPS Store, kids helping each other load boxes onto the truck. Pretend City is a great place to watch kids being kids. 

Our favorites are of course, Family Autism Night, but also Way to Play days and Baby Steps. Original Sprout continues to support Pretend City through tabling and sampling at these and other events. As we have gotten to know Pretend City and their staff, we can now say our favorite way to donate would be playing Cornhole and Fling the Ring Wine Toss at the Sip and Savor Soirée.  We find these methods much more enjoyable than just donating, but we are happy to do either! 

We wish everyone knew about Pretend City, or at least everyone with kids did. Pretend City is so much more than the neighborhood park or the local amusement center. It’s a safe, fun environment where kids can be kids. Pretend City is not littered with distracting video screens or alarming lights or sounds. It’s a place for kids to get down to ground level playing while interacting with other kids of all ages, races, and cultures.  

Original Sprout

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To protect the health of Pretend City Children’s Museum community, we ask families to please only come play with us on days that everyone is feeling well.

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