Visitors invited to donate toys and children’s books in exchange for “Buy One, Get One Free” admission to the historic site
November 7, 2019
Philadelphia, PA (November 7, 2019) – Eastern State Penitentiary celebrates this holiday season with a toy drive benefiting local children impacted by incarceration. From November 29 through December 22, anyone who donates a new, unwrapped toy or children’s book at the historic site will be granted “Buy One, Get One Free” tour admission.
One in 28 American children has a parent behind bars. In Pennsylvania alone, there are approximately 81,096 children with a parent incarcerated in a Pennsylvania state prison. How can we come together as a community to support families experiencing incarceration during the holidays?
Eastern State Penitentiary partners with local organizations to collect gifts for children who are impacted by incarceration. From November 29 through December 22, any Eastern State visitor who donates a new toy or children's book, in its original packaging (but please no gift wrap), will be granted a second admission free of charge.
Visitors may drop off donations even if they are not planning to take a tour. Items can also be purchased online and shipped directly to the penitentiary:
ATTN: Toy Drive
Eastern State Penitentiary
2027 Fairmount Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19130
About Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site:
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site interprets the legacy of American criminal justice reform, from the nation’s founding through to the present day, within the long-abandoned cellblocks of the nation’s most historic prison.
Eastern State Penitentiary was once the most famous and expensive prison in the world, but stands today in ruin, a haunting world of crumbling cellblocks and empty guard towers. Known for its grand architecture and strict discipline, this was the world's first true "penitentiary," a prison designed to inspire penitence, or true regret, in the hearts of prisoners. Its vaulted, sky-lit cells held approximately 80,000 men and women during its 142 years of operation, including bank robber "Slick Willie" Sutton and “Scarface” Al Capone.
Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is open for tours seven days a week, year-round. Admission includes “The Voices of Eastern State" Audio Tour, narrated by actor Steve Buscemi; Hands-On History interactive experiences; history exhibits; and a critically acclaimed series of artist installations.
In recent years, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site has been awarded the prestigious Excellence in Exhibitions award by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the nation’s highest award in exhibition development and design, for its exhibit Prisons Today: Questions in the Age of Mass Incarceration, as well as the Institutional Award for Special Achievement from the Pennsylvania Federation of Museums and the Trustee Emeritus Award for Stewardship from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The Returning Citizens Tour Guide Project, which hires people who were formerly incarcerated to lead tours of the historic site, has won the EdCom Award for Innovation in Museum Education by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM) and has been featured internationally by such networks as the BBC and others.
For more information, the public should visit www.EasternState.org or call 215-236-3300.