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Kensington news: Donation guide, free Thanksgiving dinner, toy drive, and youth conflict resolution

An art installation at the corner of Allegheny Avenue and Emerald Street on Nov. 20, 2023. (Photo by Khysir Carter)

Happy Thanksgiving week, folks. 

We have a couple of announcements, then we’re on to business as usual with events and resources in the neighborhood. 

First, we’re excited to announce that Sammy Caiola is joining us as a part-time special projects reporter, where she will use her community-engaged, trauma-informed approach to cover police accountability in the neighborhood.

We’re also proud to announce our selection as a grant recipient in the inaugural Philadelphia Local News Sustainability Initiative, spearheaded by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism. The new initiative aims to strengthen the vitality of local news in the Philadelphia region through a generous two-year, $2 million grant program. Kensington Voice received a $100,000 grant award. 

Finally, we still need your help building a donation guide for organizations and groups serving the neighborhood. We’d like to publish the guide by Giving Tuesday (Nov. 28), and we plan to maintain it afterwards as new submissions come in. Please share it widely and submit your organization here

Recent news

Check out this story (originally published by Chalkbeat Philadelphia), which explores a conflict resolution program serving North and Northeast Philly youth. 

The best thing student Luis Rios learned from the program? 

“How to keep your mouth shut,” he said. “You can’t be mad when things don’t go your way.”

Our upcoming programs 

This week and next, we’re hosting a few of our own programs at our newsroom at Allegheny & Amber Street: 

Mural Art Mondayz (Youth Voices) 

Mondays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM

Students in grades six through 12 are invited to this free workshop series, where they will develop a mural design at Kensington Voice with community artist John C. Zerbe ( 

Students can drop in for one workshop, a few, or all! But youth participants who attend at least half (5) of the workshops will receive a $75 gift card at the final event in December.

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Creative Writing Corner (Youth Voices) 

Tuesdays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM 

Students in grades six through 12 are invited to join our Creative Writing Corner with Khysir Carter, a writing workshop dedicated to building creative writing skills with peers and writing professionals. 

Students can drop in at any time. However, youth participants who work with us to publish their writing in our newspaper, website, or other media will receive a gift card ranging from $75 to $150 for their work. 

Click here for more info, including registration. 

Lastly, this newsletter and our stories are free to read because we believe it’s important to make local news accessible. If you’d like to help support this work, please consider becoming a paid member

Now, here’s what’s happening around the neighborhood this week.


Philly Community Wireless (PCW) is expanding its outreach efforts to homes, businesses, and organizations around Lillian Marrero Library. If you live within a quarter mile of the library and interested in hosting a mesh rooftop antenna, contact Read about how PCW is expanding internet access in the Kensington area. 

Six-day service returned at 9 Free Library of Philadelphia branches on November 18. Lillian Marrero Library is now open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

If you or someone you know is an unemployment compensation claimant  with questions about UC benefit payments, visit the new webpage here for more information. 

A new budget will be proposed to City Council this spring. Before the proposal is created, tell the City what you think should be prioritized by attending a feedback session. Space is limited and attendees will be compensated $40 for their time. Find the feedback session dates here

Activities & Events 

Nov. 22

Taller Puertorriqueño is hosting its annual Sansgiving Community Lunch on Nov. 22 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. The organization is accepting donations of (preferably) winter clothes and shoes, canned goods, and non-perishable food items. If interested in preparing food, serving meals, and managing the food drive, contact Jose Santiago at or Erikka Goslin at

Nov. 23

The Rock Ministries is hosting its 16th annual Thanksgiving Feast event. They will serve meals from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 2755 Kensington Ave. 

The Monkey Club is hosting a free comedy open mic on Thursday at 2101 York St. Interested comedians can sign up at 6:30 p.m. and the show starts at 7 p.m. 


The Norris Square Senior Center offers free daily activities for adults 60 years old and older on Mondays through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities include art, exercise, games, and socializing. Meals are also provided – $1.25 for breakfast, $1 for lunch.  


Galaei has several programs coming up for Philly’s Black and Brown LGBTQ+ community including a book club, transgender support group, sexual health discussions, and more. Keep up on Galaei’s Instagram

To browse upcoming programs at Kensington, McPherson Square, and Lillian Marrero libraries, visit

Funding Opportunities

Does your business need extra security? Click here to apply for the City’s Business Security Camera Program. If your business is looking for additional upgrades, check out the Storefront Improvement Program.

Nonprofits can also apply for security enhancements through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program, administered by the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.  



Resolve Philly, in partnership with City Bureau, is looking to train and hire community members to attend public meetings and take notes to share with the wider community. Pay is $17 per hour per assignment. Learn more here.   

Kensington Food Company

Kensington Food Company is hiring a warehouse team member. Tasks would include receiving shipments, packing orders, and delivery. Pay is $18 per hour for 30 hours per week. Apply here

Providence Center

The Providence Center is hiring 2-4 high school students for a teen leadership internship. Interns would work 5 days for 11.5 hours per week. Pay is $12 per hour. Apply here

Safe-Hub Philadelphia

Safe-Hub is hiring soccer coaches for the fall and spring seasons. Head coaches are paid $22 per hour while assistant and flex coaches are volunteer positions. Apply here

Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction has several job openings available, including communications specialist and graphic designer. View listings and apply here

Pathways to Housing PA

Pathways to Housing PA is hiring for several positions, including for a truck driver/warehouse assistant at the Philadelphia Furniture Bank at 3650 I St. Find listings and apply here

Esperanza Health Center

Esperanza Health Center has several job openings available. View listings and apply here.

New Kensington Community Development Community 

NKCDC is hiring for several full-time positions. View listings here


Philadelphia City Council’s next stated meeting is postponed to Nov. 30 at 10 a.m. in Room 400 at City Hall due to Thanksgiving. Community members can attend in-person or watch online. To give public testimony, you must call the phone number or send an email to the address listed in the agenda for that hearing by 3 p.m. the day before. 


Department of Health and Human Services

Every U.S. household can now order four COVID-19 rapid tests for free through the U.S. government. Click here to order tests.


Ceiba still has open slots for its Educational and First Time Home Buyers Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program. The organization also has Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) applications available for immigrants. For more information, contact Ceiba here.

Homebound Services

If you’re homebound or a caregiver of a homebound individual, you may be eligible for the Free Library’s Homebound Services. Books and other materials can be delivered to your home and returned for free. To apply for a Homebound Services Library Card, click here.


Applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program are now open. Income-eligible families could receive up to $1,000 to pay for heating bills. Apply online or by mail. 

Philadelphia Department of Public Health

The health department is providing free air purifiers for early childhood centers and K-12 schools. If you’re an educator with an eligible classroom, click here to request a purifier. 

Fresh Choice Food Pantry

The Community Center at Visitation’s Fresh Choice Food Pantry is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Additional offerings include coffee, light snacks, free vital checks, HIV testing, and Hepatitis-C testing. 


Mental Health First Aid

The Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services (DBHIDS) offers free training for those interested in earning a Mental Health First Aid certification. The virtual training is facilitated weekly. Register here.

Volunteer Opportunities

Avenues of Change

Avenues of Change is looking for volunteers to assist with its afterschool programming for Kensington students. Volunteers must have a background check, fingerprinting, and child abuse clearances to participate. If interested, contact executive director Matt Nocho by calling 267-826-6740 or emailing 

Joan of Arc Food Pantry

The Saint Joan of Arc Food Pantry is in need of donations. The food bank operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to noon. The site is located at the church on 2025 E. Atlantic St. Call 215-535-4641 to schedule a drop off. 

Kensington Soccer Club

Kensington Soccer Club is hosting a food drive from now until Nov. 21. Donors can drop off canned and non-perishable food items between Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 3400 J St., G4. Contact Brianna Banks at 267-972-9077 for more information. 

Philly Community Wireless

Philly Community Wireless needs tech and outreach volunteers. Learn more here

Small Things

Small Things, a local food bank, opened a “free grocery store” style food pantry at 3510 A St. in Fairhill. Operating hours are Wednesday from noon to 4 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The market is looking for volunteers

Sunday Love Project

Sunday Love Project is looking for volunteers at their Greater Goods grocery in Kensington. If you’re interested in acting as a personal shopper, helping pack bulk items, or stocking shelves, email

They are also collecting educational toys for kids ages 0-16 for their holiday event on Dec 2. Check out their Amazon wishlist here.

Have something you’d like us to share in our Monday newsletter? Please send any news or press releases to

Edited by Jill Bauer-Reese. Email Jill at