Annual giveback event in West Oak Lane offers food, clothing and more for families in need

The Annual Philadelphia Intercommunal hosted its 4th Annual Intercommunal Giveback and Feast at Simon’s Recreation Center in West Oak Lane on Saturday.

 

The Annual Giveback started as a weekly food and clothing distribution in West Philadelphia about 14 years ago. Led by Rashaad Lambert, APIC’s founder, the organization served the community for about 10 years before deciding to launch an annual version.

“This year is our biggest yet”, said Lambert. “Our goal is to create experiential philanthropy for our donors, and provide an amazing experience to our attendees. We want our supporters to be able to come out and actually do something for the community, not just give.”

On Saturday, APIC served over 750 members of the community. The fun-filled day included breakfast with Santa, self-defense classes, arts and crafts, computer skills workshops, and more. There was also a pop-up shop with free clothing and food for those in need. Youth participated in basketball drills led by members of the Philadelphia 76ers Flight Squad and were joined on the ice skating rink by former Philadelphia Flyers players.

Aisha Green of West Oak Lane attended the event with her three kids.  

“From the free toys to the haircuts, everything was really nice, and much needed. I’m so glad people are still giving back this time of year,” she said. 

More than 50 volunteers helped to make the event a success.

“I love volunteering. As human beings, I think we were created to give back and serve, especially around this time of year. I really get a lot of joy out of doing it”, said volunteer Zerona Sharpe.

The day-long event ended with a catered dinner and concert that featured local Philadelphia musicians

“The idea is to provide our guests with a dinner and a theater show experience. We want them to feel special”, said Lambert.

“We’ve been really blessed to be able to help a lot of people during a time of year when it’s really difficult to be in need, because everyone is focused on buying. My hope is that we inspire someone else to give back to the community. We just want to make a difference.”

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