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Stewart Family

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Stewart Family

We decided to make our first gift because we have a group of great friends, whom we respect and who share our values.  Many of those friends support and advocate for Pretend City.  Seeing how passionate they are, how involved they are, and how important Pretend City is to them created the desire for us to support Pretend City.  After speaking to Ellen Pais, Pretend City’s Executive Director, hearing the stories of impact at the various events, and learning about the strategy of impact and inclusion for families in need, we decided to stay engaged with Pretend City. 

Matt grew up with few resources, and his parents skipped meals to make sure Matt and his brother were fed.  Making sure families experiencing poverty have access to resources that help lift them from poverty, can experience pathways to learning usually reserved for the wealthy, and have a safe place to take a break with their children is important to us.

The most important work Pretend City does is creating ways to include families struggling to make ends meet, providing free access for children with less resources, and being inclusive as children expand their outlook and knowledge at Pretend City.

We have heard many stories of many families that benefited from time at Pretend City.  We have heard about children with mental health challenges, issues connecting, and children with few worries at all learning, being inspired, and thinking of a fantastic vision for their future while taking a little time to explore Pretend City.  All these stories inspire us.

All we have donated to Pretend City is money, and Alan Greely once told me, “anyone can donate money, it takes a real hero to donate time.”  We look forward to taking his advice and donating more of our time.

We wish everyone knew about the impact Pretend City is making in the community.  The impact stories, so the gap is bridged between “what is this strange place,” and “what does this do for our families.”  The team gets it, the leadership gets it, and the community is starting to get it.  Early childhood development is improved by experiences in Pretend city.  Socialization is improved.  Children experience a melting pot and are out of the OC bubble for a brief period of time.  How this happens, how it affects them, and what the benefits are is important to understand.

Pretend City was not our cause or our focus, it was the focus of great friends we respect.  We were brought into the fold by the buzz, and we needed to know what everyone was so excited about.  We are humbled to be part of this amazing group of supporters and staff, many we have used as examples to emulate and who have taught us quite a bit about humanity and working hard to make a little positive impact on the world.

Stewart Family

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