November 21, 2022
An historic Philadelphia prison is accepting toys and books to help make the holiday season brighter for children with incarcerated parents.
Eastern State Penitentiary in Fairmount is hosting its ninth annual Holiday Toy Drive from Friday, Nov. 25 through Wednesday, Dec. 21. Anyone who donates items will be granted "buy one, get one free" daytime tour admission.
Visitors are asked to donate toys and books that support imagination, literacy skills, self-esteem and creativity. They should be geared toward infants and children up to age 12. Gifts should be in their original packaging, without wrapping paper.
Once received, Eastern State Penitentiary will distribute the donations to more than a dozen community organizations serving impacted children.
Last year, Eastern State Penitentiary collected more than 1,700 toys and books for local children with currently or recently incarcerated parents. One in 28 American children has a parent in prison. In Pennsylvania, there are approximately 81,000 children with a parent incarcerated in a state prison.
"For many of us, the winter season is spent with loved ones, sharing meals, perhaps exchanging gifts, and celebrating family traditions with one another," said Sean Kelley, Eastern State Penitentiary's Senior Vice President, Director of Interpretation. "But for the children of the 2 million people incarcerated in America right now, this can be an especially hard time of year. Let's spread some joy and bring light to these children!"
People can drop off donations at the penitentiary or ship them directly to:
ATTN: Toy Drive
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130