Toy Campaign Delivers to more than 800 PHA Children
    PHILADELPHIA, PA-Going against the grain of declining contributions in the weak economy, PHA delivered toys to 806 children from this year's annual Toys for Tots event.     
    
    That's more children served than at any point since the program was launched in 2001 by Tenant Support Services, Inc. 
    TSSI Director Asia Coney says the annual event is a godsend for the families. "We do this to kind of show the children that somebody cares and to help the parents feel just a little bit less sad about not having what they normally have," said Coney. 

    PHA managers from sites throughout the city gathered at Abbottsford Homes in East Falls to take sacks of goodies back to the lucky families at their properties. The families are chosen based on need.

    Just how many toys TSSI can provide depends on money raised at PHA's annual holiday party fund-raiser. Employees paid $30 a ticket to attend that event on December 5. 

    "This year, we saw a tremendous outpouring of generosity from our employees in supporting these kids through their ticket purchases. We feel fortunate to be in a position to serve low-income families every day through our work, but it also feels good to help in a different way at this time of year," said PHA executive director Carl Greene.

    Each child received at least three toys. In addition, their families received a $25 Shop Rite coupon toward holiday dinner. 

    Aside from employee contributions, corporate sponsors also bought tables and contributed to the drive. 

    One major sponsor this year was HAPCO (The Homeowners Association of Philadelphia), which represents landlords who serve the Housing Choice Voucher program. HAPCO's gift of $2,500 went toward presents for families in the voucher program. 

    Tenant Support Services is a non-profit subsidiary of PHA, specializing in services for residents. 

A little boy generates some holiday cheer as he tells Santa what he wants for Christmas. 

HAPCO President Victor Pinckney, Sr., and HAPCO board member Joseph Thomas laugh along with PHA Assistant Executive Director of Operations, Carolyn Carter.


TSSI Director Asia Coney tells Santa Claus what she wants for Christmas. 

She says the annual Toys for Tots event is a godsend for poor families.

A little girl visits with Santa at the Toys for Tots celebration.

"We feel fortunate to be in a position to serve low-income families every day through our work, but it also feels good to help in a different way at this time of year," said PHA executive director Carl Greene.