Bricks for Kidz Kids Love Bricks new LEGO charity kids play with legos

Local Bricks 4 Kidz owner launches new non-profit, Kids Love Bricks

If your child has celebrated their first birthday, you’ve surely made the parenting rite-of-passage—stepping on a LEGO.

Since 1940, when the interlocking pieces with countless configurations were invented in Denmark, families have enjoyed the ample learning and imaginative play opportunities afforded by the colorful plastic bricks.

LEGO’s global stronghold is attributed to benefits like their support of developing kids’ fine motor, problem-solving and STEM skills. Pretend play made possible by LEGO promotes development in emotional, social, cognitive, and language domains while immersing kids in worlds of their own creation.

Bricks for Kidz Kids Love Bricks LEGO charity John Fontana and his wife and 2 daughters
John Fontana and his wife, Amanda, and daughters, Lydia and Lena.

Brick by Brick

John Fontana, who grew up fascinated with LEGO bricks, opened South Tampa’s Bricks 4 Kidz location in 2014. During high school and college, he spent summers working with kids at various camps.

Post graduate school, after years of working in a travel-heavy position, Fontana realized the business potential in blending his passions for working with children and LEGO bricks. A decade into his entrepreneurial venture, his business is secure enough for entering a mission close to his heart—starting a nonprofit. Enter, Kids Love Bricks.

“Bricks 4 Kidz has worked with Title I schools for years, and I’m excited to launch Kids Love Bricks so that we can provide programming to lower-income kids who don’t otherwise have opportunities for engaging in creative play with LEGO bricks,” says Fontana.


A graduate of Nativity Catholic School and Jesuit High School, Fontana’s spark for community service was ignited young by serving at food pantries during elementary school to more in-depth charitable service during high school.

“At Jesuit, we attended an overnight camp for kids with muscular dystrophy,” he says, describing it as a formative experience. “We spent five days with the kids and forged relationships with them and their families.” The father of four-year-old twin girls believes kids must understand many families are struggling: “I was blessed growing up with two parents who were able to provide and care for me. If one has the ability to help, one should.”

Fontana’s long-term goals for Kids Love Bricks include seeing students from his alma mater, Jesuit, running free summer camps for underprivileged youth.

“Summer camp is an opportunity to impact 250 kids whose parents can’t afford camp.”

Fontana believes elementary students must learn about philanthropy by doing it: “I envision taking kids from my immediate community into Title I schools so they can collaboratively create with LEGO bricks during the school year.” Kids from all communities can learn that charitable giving includes more than monetary donations. It is building relationships, giving time, sharing knowledge, and developing gratitude.

New Build

Fontana aims for a model like TOMS shoes—a portion of business profits going directly to the nonprofit. For example, portions of LEGO purchases at Bricks 4 Kidz fund free afterschool Bricks 4 Kidz classes at Title I schools.

“I’m intent on providing our programming to kids who otherwise don’t have access,” he says. Fontana believes all kids need opportunities to create things from scratch—sans step-by-step instructions and screen time.

Fontana asked one underprivileged child where he wanted to go to college; “Tampa Bay Buccaneers,” the boy replied. The altruistic entrepreneur believes too many children around the bay don’t have access to valuable educational opportunities, which include informative conversations about things like college and STEM careers.

LEGO bricks’ nostalgia factor facilitates connections between caretakers and children.

With a strong marketing skill set, Fontana is confident he will garner the support requisite for growing Kids Love Bricks: “I’m not looking to take over the world, but I want to provide Tampa Bay’s children-in-need access to LEGO birthday parties, enrichment classes, and camps.” Donations generated through social media campaigns, alongside grant dollars, will also buttress growth.

Brick by brick, we can all contribute to ensuring Tampa Bay area kids have abundant occasions for learning with LEGO.

Follow Kids Love Bricks on social to stay up to date with launch events and opportunities for giving!

Interested in learning more about giving to Kids Love Bricks?
Email John Fontana at


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Originally published in the June 2024 issue of Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine.