Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps
Everyone's favorite holiday classic, Elf, has settings in both Santa's Workshop and another magical place called "The Mailroom".
Bud, have you... have you...
Have you ever seen a mailroom?
A mailroom? No.
Oh, I mean, wow.
Wow... listen, it's a place where mail
From all over the world comes,
Uh-huh. And they sort it out there, see?
And you can touch it all,
And they put it in these shiny bins.
Our December event with Salvation Army Tabernacle Corps had the best of both worlds! We had all of the toys, joy, and holiday cheer of the Workshop in the basement of the Tabernacle Corps building in Philadelphia's Fairhill neighborhood.
While many are probably familiar with Salvation Army, this particular group is tasked with providing community services of all kinds - ranging from food security to emergency financial assistance to childcare and after school programs. The neighborhood has a large Latino population, so having a group dedicated to translating language and cultural barriers to nonprofit or government assistance is also crucial.
As we mentioned though, our event was all about los hijos living in the neighborhood - nearly 2,000 of them to be exact! We had an awesome time unpacking, sorting, and ultimately gifting over 6,000 toys to 600 families. What started as a mountain of puzzles, games, and everything you could want as a 1-12 year old turned into well-organized piles of gifts for each family.
This work would typically take the team at the Tabernacle Corps upwards of one week! So helping them achieve their goals in about four hours allows them to spend additional time and resources on the families themselves. There were a few tears shed for sure, this event hit home for everyone.
Urban Village Brewing Co.
For our #Afterjawn this month, we decided to keep the holiday vibes going with an open call to card makers and pizza eaters! We took over Urban Village Brewing Co. for $3 beers (this author highly recommends the Sofa King IPA) and half-price pizzas, alongside some live entertainment, and a gorgeously-snowy view of Northern Liberties.
What made it even warmer and cozier was the crafting of holiday cards by our volunteers. They were quick to put crayon to paper to help bring some cheer to those who need it most this time of year. Our group created FIFTY festive works of art! All of our holiday cards will be distributed to local veterans of the armed forces (inspired by the Travis Manion Foundation).