Navigating the DNC with 10,000 bags of Philly swag

Clients of the Arc of Somerset County’s Branchburg Adult Training Center assemble about 10

Clients of the Arc of Somerset County’s Branchburg Adult Training Center assemble about 10

With 4,765 delegates expected to arrive in Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention later this month, the local Democratic host committee has offered gear to help them survive four days in Philadelphia:

Bottled water
Rain poncho
Pocket U.S. Constitution
Box of Mike & Ike’s

These are some of the two-dozen items being stuffed into 10,000 gift bags for delegates and their guests. For those keeping score, that is four times what the DNC offered delegates in 2012, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

The bags are being stuffed by clients of The Arc of Somerset County, a center for developmentally disabled adults in central New Jersey. These people had also stuffed the bags for the Charlotte convention four years ago. About 60 Arc clients will be paid to work an assembly line for the next two weeks.

“They know the drill,” said Kevin Washo, director of the Philadelphia host committee. “We were joking with some of the people helping us stuff bags — four years ago there were six items, now we have over 20. About 24. So delegates and their guests are going to get some pretty cool gear when they arrive.”

The bags also include:

Comcast wireless access cards.
Two different sets of luggage tags.
Local entertainment guide from the Philadelphia Labor Union — for when you want to go out.
CD of the Philadelphia Boy’s Choir — for when you want to stay in.
A church fan — for when the action heats up on the convention floor.
A Jefferson Hospital urgent care card — just in case the action gets too hot.
A 5×8 “Donkeys Around Town” postcard — to send word back home.

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