Youth Action

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Youth Action 2023 Toy Drive

Youth Action’s Annual Toy Drive Brings Joy to Local Organizations

The holiday season is a time for giving, and through the many transitions our organization has faced, our Youth Action (YA) team was thrilled to revive our annual Toy Drive this year to spread joy and happiness to youth and families in need.

Committed to Service

As a community-based organization, YA is committed to making a difference in the lives of those around us and putting young people in the driver’s seat to be those changemakers. This year’s Toy Drive is just one example of that.

Our Progam Director, Brittany Manning, and Junior Youth Action (JYA) program students, facilitated by Avery Manning and Steven Michael Simmons, led this year’s drive. The Toy Drive supported two local organizations that provide safe spaces for families navigating challenging life situations, the Red Cross House and Jane Addams Place – Lutheran Settlement House.

The Red Cross House is a disaster recovery center for families who have been displaced due to fires or other emergencies. This one-of-a-kind facility, provides a safe, comfortable place where families stay together following a disaster. The Red Cross House assists families in starting their path to recovery following a disaster by providing short-term housing and access to recovery services.

Youth Action's Executive Director Kiyana Neil and The Red Cross House's Yaly Alvarez.

The Lutheran Settlement House (LSH) is a non-profit, community-based organization committed to serving children, adults, and families living in Philadelphia. Over the past century, the programs and services offered by LSH have changed. However, the core mission of Lutheran Settlement House — “to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through an integrated program of social, educational, and advocacy services” — has remained constant. The Jane Addams Place, LSH’s family shelter, helps families entangled in the housing crisis heal from the trauma they have experienced, explore housing and employment options, and plan for the future they want and deserve.

Lutheran Settlement House staff posing with toy drive donations

Our Toy Drive Impact

Thanks to the hard work of our students and our programming staff, we collected and donated over 200 gifts and gift cards to both organizations! Our students and parents even created dozens of greeting cards to encourage the children and families.

The success of this year’s Toy Drive demonstrates the power of coming together as a community. Our students, volunteers, leadership team, and board members all played a vital role in making this year’s drive impactful. It’s heartwarming to see the impact we can have when we work together towards a common goal.

Youth Action students wrapping holiday gifts for annual toy drive

Be Inspired

If you’re a prospective student or parent, we hope this story inspires you to get involved with YA and our many community initiatives. We believe in the power of young people to make a difference in the world, and we’d love for you to join us in our mission. Our programs and activities are designed to help young people develop their leadership skills, build strong relationships, and positively impact their communities.

For our board members, supporters, and funders, we hope this story serves as a reminder of our important work together. Thanks to your support, we can continue making a difference in the lives of those around us.

We are proud to have been able to bring a bit of joy and happiness to the families at the Red Cross House and Jane Addams Place – Lutheran Settlement House!


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