By Cherri Gregg
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Thousands attended the 14th annual Holiday Party for the Homeless Tuesday evening.
Nearly 5,000 of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable cities left the streets and family shelters to attend one of the biggest holiday parties in town.
“Today is about letting people in need know that they are important and that somebody loves them,” says Philadelphia Councilwoman Janie Blackwell. While the party is her brainchild, she says it takes a village to put the event together.
“People are so good, we have so many donors, so many sponsors,” says Blackwell. “All of this I could not have paid for out of my pocket. From the 5,000 TastyKakes from TastyKake to KeVen Parker Company who cooks it, to the churches, to the face painter who donates her time – all these professionals to OIC who brought the computers. Philadelphia is a good city. People will share if you give them an opportunity to do that.”
The party included a DJ, Santa Clause, a moon bounce, internet hotspots, a bike raffle for 100 children and meals for everyone.
“I like when they dance up there and play the music and stuff, and Santa Clause and the bouncer,” said one mother of two.
“I think it’s really nice, especially for the kids. A lot of them don’t have anything else to do but this,” said one grandmother.
“It helps a lot,” says another mother who brought her son and goddaughter. “The gifts really help a lot. The kids got their face painted, they saw Santa Claus. It gave them something to do after school. It’s really nice.”
And the kids, they enjoyed it the most.
“I like the moon bounce and the book bus,” said one child.
“I loved the moon bounce and the computers and everything else!!”