Last summer, I started a program called Philly Play right here in the Northeast. I did so because I was concerned about both the lack of access and information surrounding active play and the growing rate of childhood obesity in our city. We held play-oriented events around the 6th District, hosted community conversations around play and health and ended with a block-long street festival for families.
Gianna Granato, 6, and her brother Steven Granato, 7, of Bustleton, started raising money for Toys for Tots by making rubber-band bracelets and key chains. They began in October this past year, and were selling in local malls and street stands by November. Every time they raised a sufficient amount of money, they bought toys for kids and contacted a local charity that could use them. Their parents have always encouraged them to help their community with some sort of project. Since the bracelets and key chains have been such a success for them, they would like to keep selling past the holidays and continue donating the money to charities. PHOTOS BY MARIA POUCHNIKOVA