Benevolence in Bridesburg

Alex Korn, 15, and his fellow Scouts with a truck full of wrapped gifts they delivered to families at Kensington’s Visitation Homes. PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEX KORN

In two separate acts of goodwill and kindness, Bridesburg locals are a true example of the spirit of the holidays.

Cops help local kids snag free toys at Target
Philadelphia Police Department officers got to shop with children for their most-wanted toys as part of the “Heroes & Helpers” program, held at Target, 2701 Castor Ave., on Dec. 11.

“It was wonderful,” said Officer Tina Willis of the 24th District. “It was actually a great experience for the children.”

About 20 children from local schools, including Webster Elementary School, St. George School and St. Lucy Day School for Children with Visual Impairments were invited to participate in the special event.

Target provided one $50 gift certificate per child, each of whom got to walk up and down the aisles of the store with a police officer as they chose their free gifts.

“They picked a lot of Barbies and different action figures,” Willis said. “Just to see some of the smiles on the children’s faces was wonderful.”

The students ranged from kindergarten age to those in third grade, and included two 13-year-olds as well.

Officer Willis was joined by officers Laurie Carter and Brian Howell of the 24th District to help out with the event, which was the first of its kind, according to Willis.

“We do know that there are a lot of children in the 24th police district during this time of the year that don’t have a lot,” Willis said. “There are a lot of parents that can’t provide for their children due to whatever circumstances.”

The event will also hopefully go towards establishing friendship between these kids and the local police department, Willis said.

“We wanted to show that we’re there to help them out,” she continued. “We love to do whatever we can do for our youth.” ••

Bridesburg Boy Scout lends a hand in Kensington
Bridesburg teen and Troop 120 Life Scout Alex Korn, 15, completed his Eagle Scout project over the weekend by donating gifts to less fortunate families at a nearby shelter.

“It’s to make them feel special, just that someone’s looking out for them,” Korn told Star.

Korn, in 10th grade at Franklin Towne Charter High School, passed out the gifts with his fellow Boy Scouts from Troop 120 on Saturday. They’ve been collecting gifts from friends and neighbors for the past two months.

On Saturday morning, the scouts wrapped the gifts before bringing them to Visitation Homes, 2638 Kensington Ave., a shelter for homeless mothers.

“Essentially, it’s just because they’re children and its Christmas time,” Korn said of the motivation for the project. “I couldn’t even imagine what it would be to just be on your own and not have anything, it’s terrible.”

Korn, who plans eventually to attend college and pursue employment with the Philadelphia Police Department, said the project was one of many charitable works that he, his mother and uncle came up with on a return trip from summer camp earlier this year.

They also proposed holding a Thanksgiving dinner for the hungry, or checking that neighbors had properly installed smoke detectors in their homes, before deciding on a toy drive.

“We figured since it’s getting close to Christmas and these kids don’t have anything, they’d probably benefit the most from it,” Korn said. ••

Reporter Sam Newhouse can be reached at 215–354–3124 or at snewhouse@bsmphilly.com.