Jonnie’s Dream Playground at Southside Park

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

$11,803 raised by 61 donors

98% complete

$12,000 Goal

Every child, regardless of abilities, deserves a safe place to play.

Jonnie and Friends Reach for the Stars is a fundraising effort to restore the Universal Universe playground in Sacramento’s Southside Community Park. Replacing worn equipment with fun, all-inclusive play structures and adding new programs and activities that will allow kids of all abilities to play together, make friends and reach for the stars. 

In the City of Sacramento alone, there are a total of 11,611 children and young people with disabilities. 
These children all benefit from having a fully accessible, maintained park where they can play, dream, and meet new friends. 

Together, we can build an inclusive playground that provides a place where children of all abilities can participate, learn and grow. And have fun while playing with their peers.

Get Involved!


Jonnie and Friends Reach for the Stars is a fundraising effort to restore the Universal Universe playground in Sacramento’s Southside Community Park in the central city. By partnering with the City of Sacramento and adding private resources, we can add more great features!

The City of Sacramento supports the playground and understands its benefits to young children and their families. They have been appreciative of our past fundraising efforts, including adding our region's first wheelchair accessible merry go round, the 'We-Go-Round', and we are appreciative of the City’s recent resurfacing of the playground and adding new musical instruments which have been popular for many. The city is receptive to our continued work on the park's behalf. A partnership between the City and Jonnie and Friends Reach for the Stars means families and kids throughout Sacramento will benefit by enjoying Sacramento’s largest accessible playground and new enriching programs led by the City's Access Leisure division.

We are extremely grateful for the generosity, kindness, and stewardship, from Gifts To Share, Inc. Over the years they have managed our donations, and have helped us reach our goals.


Goal: $ 67,590.00

Our current goal is to add additional sensory rich, accessible playground equipment for all to enjoy, learn, play on and make new friends. Our needs include:

Sensory Play Center / Cost: $40,900

The multiple panels encourage children to interact and explore textures, sounds and shapes and create an exciting multi-sensory play experience. This feature also engages peripheral vision and visual tracking and visual stimulation.

Communication Symbol Panel / Cost: $2,500

This feature helps non-verbal, speech-challenged, and early learning children communicate with friends and caregivers. The symbols are universally understandable and easy to use and will add more inclusion and fun to playground.

Serenity Spot / Cost: $24,200

The Serenity Spot provides a place to learn, socialize, sit, relax, play and engage. All this and more, as sometimes a child, caregiver or parent needs a comfortable place to step away and still be part of the play space. This feature will help children with autism be calm and allow the expression of stemming behaviors.

Equity Statement

At Jonnie and Friends Reach for the Stars, we're committed to equity for all children. We aim to create an inclusive, sensory-rich playground complemented by engaging programming supported by community partnerships.

We strive to ensure every child feels valued and empowered to dream big in an environment that caters to their diverse needs and abilities.

Organization Data


Organization name

Jonnie’s Dream Playground at Southside Park

other names

Jonnie and Friends Reach for the Stars

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Recreation & Sports

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, Funding: Other

Demographics Served

General population, Youth & Children

Local Counties Served



915 I Street, 5th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814

Service areas

Sacramento, CA, US





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