Eastern State Penitentiary hosts toy drive to help children of those in jail or just released


In this season of giving a decommissioned prison is helping children whose parents are behind bars or were recently released.

About 30,000 children in Philadelphia will be separated from a parent because of incarceration this holiday season.

Hannah Zellman of Philadelphia Fight’s Institute for Community Justice says the AIDS service organization is teaming up with Eastern State Penitentiary through Sunday to bring some joy to some of those kids.

“For anybody who comes to Eastern State Penitentiary and drops off a toy, to donate to the toy drive, they will be offering a kind of ‘buy one get one free,’ so they will get free admission to come back for their winter holiday tour,” she said.

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Zellman says the toys will be given out at the Philadelphia Fight’s annual holiday party.

“We have basically sponsored this party where we bring children, either their recently released parents or caregivers together and do a lot of crafts and have food and are able to give them gifts to give them a little cheer and celebration even if their parents are locked up.”

Eastern State will also collect new, unwrapped gifts for people who just want to make a donation without getting a free admission.

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