Prison Urges You To Bring Them Toys

 

Holiday photo of staff and prisoners at Eastern State Penitentiary (undated) | Courtesy of Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site

Eastern State Penitentiary–the world’s first true penitentiary and one of the city’s longshot preservation success stories–has begun its fifth annual holiday toy drive to benefit local children of incarcerated parents. From now until December 14th any visitor who donates a toy or children’s book in its original wrapping will receive a second, free admission to the historic prison.

ESP continues their toy and book donation program this year in partnership with social advocacy and prison activism group Philadelphia FIGHT’s Institute for Community Justice. “We work with Philadelphia Fight because they are an organization that does a host of good work around issues of HIV and AIDS,” says Sean Kelley, senior vice president and director of public programming at ESP. “They have an annual holiday party for the children of their stakeholders who are incarcerated. Philly Fight wraps them in advance and the toys are given out at the party,” says Kelley.

According to the Pew Chartiable Trust’s 2010 Collateral Costs report, one in 28 children in the United States has a parent behind bars.

Eastern State Penitentiary–at 2027 Fairmount Avenue–will take donated toys and children’s books from visitors and drop-offs during all public hours, Monday through Sunday from 10AM to 5PM.

About the author

Michael Bixler is a writer, photographer, and managing editor of Hidden City Daily. He is a former arts and entertainment reporter with Mountain Xpress weekly in Asheville, North Carolina and a native of South Carolina. Bixler has a keen interest in adaptive reuse, underappreciated architecture, contemporary literature and art, and forward-thinking dialogue about people and place. Follow him on Instagram



Leave a Reply

Comment moderation is enabled, no need to resubmit any comments posted.

Recent Posts
Sharswood Tour Spotlights African American Landmark

Sharswood Tour Spotlights African American Landmark

February 19, 2019  |  News

Efforts to save the former home and studio of Philadelphia Black Renaissance artist Dox Thrash will take center stage with a neighborhood tour and discussion. Kessler Thibert has the story > more

Exhuming A Pyramid Of Petrol Along The

Exhuming A Pyramid Of Petrol Along The “Golden Mile”

February 15, 2019  |  Vantage

Greg Prichard takes us on a suburban expedition to find Vincent Kling's lost, modernist gas station on City Avenue > more

Conkling-Armstrong House & Jewelers Row District Go Before Designation Committee

Conkling-Armstrong House & Jewelers Row District Go Before Designation Committee

February 12, 2019  |  News

Starr Herr-Cardillo has this roundup of local register nominations on the agenda at the February meeting of the Philadelphia Historical Commission's Designation Committee > more

Under Construction: Charles Library At Temple University

Under Construction: Charles Library At Temple University

February 8, 2019  |  Last Light

Something Snøhetta this ways comes. Michael Bixler takes us to the quad at Temple University where its new library is currently taking shape > more

A Life Of Community Service For Theaters In North Philly

A Life Of Community Service For Theaters In North Philly

February 6, 2019  |  Vantage

The legendary Uptown Theater is gearing up for its 90th anniversary this month with a new fundraising campaign and the lighting of its original marquee. To mark the occasion, cinema scholar Joan McGettigan gives us a social history lesson on the neighborhood movie houses near North Broad Street > more

Archaic Expectations: Freeing Female Roles From A Dollhouse In Society Hill

Archaic Expectations: Freeing Female Roles From A Dollhouse In Society Hill

February 1, 2019  |  Vantage

In this essay Mickey Herr examines women's roles and social norms through the history of a dollhouse spanning seven generations > more