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Kensington news: Baby Goods Exchange, McPherson's Summer Kick-Off, Queer Craft Night, Street Knowledge podcasting & community leadership, + rookie police

Happy Monday, neighbors. It's the last week before school officially lets out for the summer...

Some snapshots from this weekend's Art on Hart event at Hart Lane Farm, one of the many community gardens in Kensington. (Photos by John Zerbe)

Happy Monday, neighbors.

We're thinking of all our parents this week since Friday is the last day of school before summer break... 😬

With summer around the corner, we're also working hard to collect summer activities and resources for our newsletter, so if there's anything you know about that we should include, send us an email at

News (in case you missed it)

Philly police are sending 78 rookie cops to Kensington starting June 18: “We’re going to be pushing the crowds”

The Philadelphia Police Academy’s entire graduating class – a total of 78 new officers – will patrol Kensington “24/7” starting June 18. Their deployment will increase the neighborhood’s police force by almost 200%.

Click here to read more.

Family-owned M Jewelers takes pride in offering handmade jewelry in Kensington: “It feels like home here”

Jeweler Young Ma, his wife Soon Ma, and his son Steve Ma own M Jewelers at 2327 N. Front St. The Soon family has worked in the jewelry store, previously called Kang’s Jewelers, for over 20 years. 

For the Ma family, the ability to offer high-quality, hand-crafted jewelry to Kensington residents has always been a point of pride. When their most recent lease ended at their previous storefront, the family was set on staying in the neighborhood.

“People in this neighborhood normally have to leave this neighborhood to get what they need or to go shopping,” Steve said. “It makes us feel good when a customer can just walk a few minutes to shop here, and we can help them find what they’re looking for.”

Click here to read more.

Activities & Events 

June 12

Pennsylvania Career Link will be at McPherson Square Library from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meet with a community workforce connector who will give you one-on-one job searching assistance and individualized support with résumé development, career counseling, and professional development workshops. Call 1-833-750-5627 to learn more.

June 13 

The Free Baby Goods Exchange, The Simple Way, and Esperanza Health Center are having a Baby Goods Exchange at 3222 H St. from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. The items that the organizations are giving away and accepting donations for are baby clothes, diapers, toys, and more.

The Resource Exchange is hosting its “2nd Thursday” event from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. This month’s event is a Queer Craft Night. Click here to register and learn more.

The Community First Fund is hosting a free affinity group lending information session at 6 p.m. for small business owners to learn more about funding opportunities. Click here to register for this week’s session and future ones.

June 15

Street Knowledge Philadelphia is hosting free workshops at Congreso de Latinos Unidos from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Participants will learn about podcast creation, community leadership, and more. Click here to pre-register and learn more.

McPherson Square Library is hosting a Summer Kick-Off event from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in partnership with Nourish, Impact Services, Fab Youth Philly, and Philly Parks & Rec. There will be face painting, outdoor activities, a bouncy house, and more.

June 16

Hive 76 is hosting their Board Game Day. Make sure to stop by and play some games with friends or family. Click here to register.

Weekly Events


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


Heitzman Recreation Center hosts a free chess club on Mondays from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. for ages eight and up. No registration or prior experience is required. For more information, contact


The “Harrowgate Run Club” is hosting walking and running groups at Harrowgate Park on Tuesdays from 6:15 a.m. to 7 a.m.

Heitzman Recreation Center hosts free art classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays will consist of bracelet making, and on Thursdays, participants will be making arts & crafts. For more information, contact or call 215-537-3244.


Every Wednesday from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Galaei hosts its weekly discussion group, “Code Grindr”, in person at its location. This discussion group will unpack the negative impact that hookup apps have and the stigmas they uphold surrounding race, gender identity, and the harm they cause people. 

Looking for more open mics in the neighborhood? Tina’s Tacos hosts an open mic and live band karaoke night every Wednesday from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Come by and show off your vocal skills or enjoy some local talent.


Every Thursday at 7 p.m., PhillySouls hosts weekly Bible studies at 1222 N Palethorp St. All creatives, Bible readers, and young professionals are welcome. To register for this week’s or future studies, click here.

Monthly Community Meetings

Friends of McPherson
When: Every first Tuesday from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Where: McPherson Square Library at 601 E. Indiana Ave.

Harrowgate Civic Association
When: Every first Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Heitzman Recreation Center at 3631 Amber St.

Kensington Independent Civic Association (KICA)
When: Every third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Harrowgate PAL Center at 851 E. Tioga St.

*There is no Harrowgate Civic meeting in July.

Port Richmond Neighborhood Action (PRNA)
When: Every third Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Where: The Block Church at 2537 E. Monmouth St.

Free Trainings

Fab Youth Philly Free Workshops for Summer Jobs

Fab Youth Philly is hosting free workshops to prepare teens for summer jobs this year at its Kensington location from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The workshops will run from April to June. In April, participants will learn about making resumes and filling out job applications. In May, they will learn what they need to know during job interviews. In June, teens will work on time management and effective communication. Click here to register.

JEVS Project WOW

JEVS Human Services is offering its free Project WOW Certified Production Training Program to young adults ages 18 to 24 who did not complete a high school diploma. This program offers hands-on training in OSHA 10, a Production Technician Certificate, a High School Diploma through Penn Foster, and more. To register and learn more, click here.

Lifeguard Trainings

Parks & Rec has reopened its free lifeguard training for teens 16 years and older. Upon completion, you will earn free lifeguard certification, which allows you to earn a starting pay of $16 an hour. Click here to apply or learn more.

Mental Health First Aid Training

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.

Sheet Metal Workers

Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 19 is currently accepting applications for their Philadelphia training center. Earn money while you learn a new trade, and learn from experienced professionals in the field. Click here to apply and learn more.

Funding Opportunities

Block beautification

As part of the Keep It Clean Philly campaign, the city is offering funding to block captains the PMBC Block Captain Beautification Grant to beautify their block. The grant amount can be as much as $500, and is only available to block captains registered through the Philadelphia More Beautiful Committee (PMBC). Click here to apply.

Business Security

Does your business need extra security? Click here to apply for the city’s Business Security Camera Program. If your company wants 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.  

In Color Birding Club

From now until August, In Color Birding Club is offering school bus sponsorships for teachers and institutions taking their students to field trips in nature or other green spaces like gardens or arboretums. First priorities will be given to first-time applicants and teachers or institutions with a majority presence of BIPOC students. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Philadelphia Water Department State Grants

The Philadelphia Water Department has grants available for its Pennsylvania Homeowner Assistance Fund. Eligible homeowners can get up to $10,000 for unpaid water bills. To apply and learn more, click here.


Career Connected Learning PHL

Career Connected Learning PHL is connecting teens and young adults ages 12 to 24 with paid opportunities for the summer. Click here to learn more.

City of Philadelphia

The City of Philadelphia is hiring for multiple positions, including Correctional Officer and Research & Information Analyst. View listings and apply here.

The city is also hiring in multiple civil service jobs. Click here to apply and learn more. 

Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The Division of Substance Use and Harm Reduction has several job openings available. View 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

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


PennDot is hiring new engineers, equipment operators, inspectors, and mechanics. View listings and apply here

Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW)

PGW is hiring for multiple positions including Call Center Representative, Field Service Technician, and more. Click here to apply.

Philadelphia Parks & Rec

Philadelphia Parks & Rec is currently hiring for multiple positions, including RSI Programming Specialist-Pops Playground and Seasonal Maintenance Attendant. To apply and learn more, click here.

School District of Philadelphia

The School district of Philadelphia is hiring Assistant Teachers. The starting salary is $20.61 an hour. Click here to apply.

Safe-Hub Philadelphia

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

Waste Management

Waste Management is hiring for multiple positions with an average pay of $26 per hour. Click here to apply and learn more.


Filter Philly

Filter Philly provides free air purifiers, masks, and tests to local events and organizations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other airborne illnesses. If you’d like to be supplied with a free purifier or equipment, contact

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. 


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. 


From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Tuesday, NKCDC’s Kensington Empowerment Hub is open for their Record Clearing Clinic. Clients can meet with lawyers from the Lawyers for Social Equity organization to have their cases reviewed to see if they can be cleared of any records.

Youth Employment Project (YEP)

Temple University’s Youth Employment Project (YEP) is looking to enroll out-of-school young adults ages 16 to 24 years old into their program to support them with earning their GEDs and transitioning to employment or higher education. Requirements include being a Philadelphia resident, highly determined and self-motivated, and having a basic understanding of computer skills. Click here to fill out their interest form.

Volunteer Opportunities

Free Library of Philadelphia

The Free Library of Philadelphia is looking for volunteers for their author events. Volunteers will have the duties of greeting and ticketing patrons prior to events, assisting with audio equipment, and vetting questions from audience members. To volunteer, contact

Kensington Soccer Club

Kensington Soccer Club is looking for a Volunteer Coordinator. If you or someone you know is interested, send your resume to

Philly Community Wireless

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

Savage Sisters

Savage Sisters, an organization that serves people recovering from substance use disorders, has an outreach program where they directly serve folks with resources and food. On Tuesdays, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., they hand out warm food and harm reduction kits, and they also do a clean up around the area afterward. If you are interested in volunteering, contact Liddy at or 215-954-6199. 

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 11 a.m. to 3 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

Kensington Voice programs 

Youth Voices Summer Program

Our summer hours begin Monday, June 24

We're taking a break from our youth program next week from June 17 to 21 so we can clean, organize, and plan for the summer.

If you've got a pre-teen or teen who needs to get out of the house and find some purpose for the day, send them over to our newsroom at 3237 Amber Street.

Stay tuned for our summer hours, which we're finalizing with the kids' input this week.

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