By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An annual donation drive for needy children takes place later this week.

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There are about 173,000 children living in poverty in the Greater Philadelphia region, according to Cradles to Crayons Executive Director Michal Smith.

“Poverty among children is the highest its been in 50 years.”

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The goal is to help 5,000 children through donations.

“Anything that, if you have a child in the zero to 12 age range, anything that they might need are the things that our children need. They are victims of domestic violence they are living in homeless shelters. Foster homes. Early child daycare centers.”

Shire’s fifth annual BIG GIVE benefit Cradles to Crayons starts 12:30 Friday afternoon in Chester County at Wilson Farm Park along Lee Road in Chesterbrook. Then on Saturday Collections continue at that location and five others from 9am to 3pm including the Free Library of Philadelphia Rittenhouse square location.

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More information on the BIG GIVE benefit, click here.