‘Who Can We Help?’: Philly-area nonprofit supports 250 children this holiday

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “Who can we help?” is the name of a Philadelphia-area nonprofit that asks the question to its namesake every year during the winter break.

It started with just a small effort to donate a few turkeys during the 2019 Thanksgiving holiday. Since then, it has grown into an annual gathering where volunteers pool their resources to help those in need.

“It basically started as a Facebook post, went to a Facebook group and just tried to help local families with Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said founder Daniel Gilman. “And over time it grew to the point where we felt we needed to become a non-profit organization.”

One such gift donation recipient was 9-year-old Julian Polk. He and his mother lost everything in a house fire last year.

“For the people who gave me a gift, you’re really nice,” he said. “And when I grow up, I’ll try to help the people who can’t help themselves.”

Daniel Gilman became friends with the family last year after the tragedy. But they are only a fraction of the “Who can we help?” Story.

Gilman grew up in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia and wanted to specifically target underserved areas with his volunteer work. As the effort has spread throughout Philadelphia and surrounding counties, he always makes sure to lend a hand at places like St. Mark’s Church in Frankford.

“In the past, this church, which seats 880, would have been packed from head to toe,” said her senior ward Cristina Mancini. “And we know we’ll never go back to the days when the church was filled that way, but our church is full of volunteers.”

Among the various social programs housed under its roof, St. Mark’s facilitates the “adoption” of many local families during the holiday season. Gilman and his crew donated food and toys to more than 60 of those people this year.

But that’s only counting the people at St. Mark’s Church.

“This year the total number of children we have helped was 250,” Gilman said. “So we stopped requests because we wanted to make sure we could give gifts to all the families we have.”

Still, Who Can We Help? encourages donations and family sponsorships to make future donations a reality.

To learn more about “Who can we help?” To find out and to ask the question yourself, visit their website.

RELATED: Philadelphia Boys and Girls Choirs are banging their hearts out for the holidays

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https://6abc.com/who-can-we-help-philadelphia-nonprofit-holiday/12558569/ ‘Who Can We Help?’: Philly-area nonprofit supports 250 children this holiday

Alley Einstein

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