JANNIE BLACKWELL: Santa Claus To The Homeless
Every year, just before Christmas, the city’s poor families, in and out of shelters, know they will find a true Philadelphia Santa Claus in 3rd Dist. Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell. Many will not be living in her district and will not be able to vote for her if they wanted, but know they are welcomed as her guests. Councilwoman Blackwell feeds and showers the hundreds of children among them with presents, clothing for young and old, and great hot food and refreshments for all. She is thankful for the many sponsors and hundreds of volunteer elves who help make it work.
APPRECIATIVE and orderly was this crowd which stretched a block along 12th Street alongside Convention Center.
SPANKING-NEW, bright bicycles for children and teenagers were donated by members of Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5. Bringing them in were these member along with President John McNesby, right forefront.
MAGNITUDE of event can be seen from this photo. Balloons marked off each table and all filled up as gala got underway.
FREE HAIRCUTS and hairdos for moms were part of offerings.
ADDRESSING crowd is Bertha Simmons, whom Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell calls “my second mother. She’d grab my arm and hold me still when she felt I was going off to where I shouldn’t be.” Looking on is MC Mannwell Glen.
FAMILIES got to see tables of parents marked and sorted for boys and girls by various age groups … a lot of work.
TWO PRETTY elves manned this soda counter, waiting for the lines to come by.
KICKING OFF entertainment program featuring live musicians and DJs are Mannwell Glen and Councilwoman Blackwell.