The Saturday before Christmas is usually reserved for last minute holiday shopping. Rather, a group of about 15 dedicated YPN volunteers rolled up their sleeves to assist Turning Points for Children with their Toy Shop program at their headquarters on 415 South 15th Street. We were shocked at the rooms full of toys, classic games (Chutes and Ladders and Sorry) and clothing items (pajamas, outerwear, socks and outfits). Our tasks were to sort the toys and games into appropriate age groups and to organize the clothing according to size, as well as decorate the space for the holidays.

Before we began, Jack Luke, Director of the Office of Development & Communications at Turning Points for Children, gave us an overview of the organization. Through their various programs, Turning Points works to help end the cycles of poverty and crime. It provides Philadelphia area families and caregivers with the vital resources needed to ensure their children are raised in a safe, healthy and nurturing environment. Turning Point’s vision is to help children become productive, self-sufficient members of society. That’s a tall order when they have 2,700 families/5,300 children to help and only 92 employees. With the passion and heart demonstrated by the organization’s employees I worked alongside, I have no doubt they have and will continue to accomplish great work!

As part of Turning Point’s Brighter Holidays program, the Toy Shop is set up to provide participating families with toys, books, games and clothing for their children. To keep it running smoothly, families are scheduled in 15-minute increments to peruse the shop and select items for their children. All of these items have been donated by area individuals and organizations. According to Lindsey Klinger, Associate of Publications and Special Events at Turning Points, “We were pleasantly surprised with the corporations that came through for donations.” By partnering with the Pajama Program, they received 600 pairs of donated pajamas. Some area companies (including Arkema and Urban Outfitters) asked their holiday party attendees to donate a toy or clothing item. Turning Points also partnered with area elementary schools in which children donated toys.

Thank you to all who helped this great organization brighten the holidays of Philadelphia families and children! For more information about Turning Points for Children, please visit and, or contact Lindsey Klinger at [email protected].