Councilwoman Jannie L. Blackwell, chair of City Council’s Education Committee and the Committee on Housing, Neighborhood Development & the Homeless, will host her 14th annual Holiday Party for the Homeless at the Pennsylvania Convention Center located at 11th & Arch Streets from 3 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
This year’s celebration is expected to attract some feed over 5,000 homeless residents from the streets and family shelter system for Christmas. Of the 5,000 expected, 3,000 will be children. They will receive toys, a photo with Santa Claus, and participate in a raffle for nearly 100 bikes, as well as enjoy face painting, crafts, moon bounces and a DJ.
Many will be brought in from neighborhoods through transportation furnished through the Councilwoman’s efforts.
Additionally, for the first time this year, the Tech Mobile and 40 pop-up hot spots on site will let children use computers to access games and the internet during the event.
Several contributors have agreed to take over 10×10 spaces within the hall and transform the space with décor representing various holiday themes.
Entering its fourteenth year, this event has become an annual tradition for many families, civic organizations and students, who want to donate their time and participate in the sharing of the holiday spirit.
Over 50 volunteers from the West Philadelphia community will serve a traditional holiday home-cooked meal prepared by KeVen Parker, award winner of 3801 Café, and owner of Simply Delicious Catering and Ms. Tootsie’s Soulfood Café.
The Councilwoman is quick to acknowledge with special thanks those who have contributed to what has become the largest Christmas Party for the needy hosted in the city. She thanks the Convention Center, Comcast, Wells Fargo, The KeVen Parker Co., Tastykake Baking Co., Walmart, Aramark, University of Pennsylvania, Main Line Temple of Beth Elohim, Philadelphia Water Dept., Pugliese Associates, Drexel University, Brandywine Realty Trust, Local 33, The Temple Group, Coca-Cola Co., Fraternal Order of Police, SEPTA, Linebarger Law Offices, People’s Emergency Center, Penn Mutual, Villa, OIC, The Junior League of Philadelphia, PECO, Free Library of Philadelphia, Philly Fight, Masonic Temple, YMCA and the Radnor Group.