January News

The socially conscious startup has developed a new pallet design that can be rebuilt into basketball hoops, soccer goals, and more after delivering supply payload to refugee camps and disaster zones.

Brooklyn, NY—January 23, 2017—With the backdrop of increasingly negative rhetoric aimed at displaced people, Brooklyn-based PlayPallets International, Inc. [playpallets.org] is working to make sure that refugees—specifically the 51% of whom are children—are afforded the basic human right of the ability to play.  

Understandably, it’s a tough sell to get childrens’ play equipment a spot on a shipping pallet that’s being used to transport things like food, medicine, and water. “So we wondered if play could catch a ride to regions in need without displacing other, more essential cargo,” says Jon Robbins, PlayPallets International Founder. “What if we could integrate sports equipment into a mandatory part of the supply chain?”


After two years of R&D, PlayPallets International was able to accomplish just that with their first patent-pending design: a new type of shipping pallet that can be reassembled into two complete youth-sized hoops complete with rims, nets, and balls. When the PlayPallet reaches the refugee camp at the end of its supply chain, the pallet is broken down based on basic instructions stamped onto the wood.

Every part of the PlayPallet has a functional role: The top and bottom of the pallet are sheets of 5-ply that will serve as the backboards, pre-painted and marked for easy hoop installation. The interior support skeleton of the pallet is made of planks that will be used to help stabilize the basketball pole and backboard. Once those are removed, the patent-pending Channel Compartment can be accessed, where the accessories are securely packed for travel. For this model, it includes rims, nets, basketballs, air pumps, additional hardware, instructions for assembly, and rules. And finally, the frame of the pallet is made of thick beams that are used to create two sturdy poles for the hoops.

The design and construction of PlayPallets make it possible to very easily break down and rebuild them into sturdy play equipment, without any additional parts or compromising its ability to transport supplies. In fact, PlayPallets were engineered to the exact size of standard shipping pallets, and built to the same specs. They can handle as much weight as traditional pallets, and be transported by forklift just as easily. It’s simple, cheap, and easy to build and use.

There has been a surge in refugees in the past few years, with more than 60 million worldwide right now. Fortunately, there are many amazing aid organizations that are working tirelessly to make sure that the refugee camps around the world are capable of providing enough food, water, and basic shelter so the people in the camps can survive. But children in these situations need something beyond the basics. They need Play.

The healing power of sports is well documented. It is crucial to childhood development. Play imparts fundamental life skills, like teamwork, leadership, and communication. It teaches kids how to win and lose. And most importantly, they get to have fun. They get a bit of normalcy back into a life turned upside down.

“The beauty of this project is that it can provide an immediate, vital benefit to those who need it most. There is already a supply chain in place. We need to simply insert ourselves into the existing chain,” says Jon. “Unfortunately, the refugee crisis won’t be going away anytime soon. But if we can do one small thing to improve their lives and simply let kids be kids, then we feel like it’s an endeavor worth pursuing.”

PlayPallets International is also in the final stages of design for Soccer, Cricket, and Skateboarding models, and is now in the process of taking pre-orders for the Basketball model.

The company has already begun catching the eye of philanthropic organizations that work with refugees. “All kids deserve the right to play, and yes, that includes kids in refugee camps.” says Ariadne Getty Foundation founder Ariadne Getty. “Super cool invention and a smart solution to a very major problem.”

To learn more about PlayPallets International, please contact Jon Robbins at 213.440.4884 or email, info@playpallets.org, or visit the website at www.playpallets.org.

About PlayPallets International, Inc.

PlayPallets International, Inc. is a Brooklyn-based B Corporation that is focused on helping children get the opportunities to play sports, no matter their socioeconomic situation. The specialize in design and development of ideas and products for children in crisis zones worldwide.

About The Ariadne Getty Foundation

The Ariadne Getty Foundation, a private foundation based in Los Angeles began its mission to partner with charitable organizations in the United States. Ariadne Getty is a lifelong philanthropist whose sense of integrity and compassion help to guide her foundations beliefs and practices. The Ariadne Getty Foundation’s principal objective is to apply its income and capital towards any exclusively charitable objects and purposes whatsoever in the US, and Overseas.