POTTSTOWN >> This holiday season, Pottstown is feeling the warmth with a little help from a Philadelphia-area non-profit group.
Children were welcomed into Steel River Playhouse Saturday as Feel the Warmth, an organization aimed at helping less fortunate children, began its first toy give away in Pottstown.
“We have our toy giveaway today, we have our Santa here today. The kids are coloring pictures and they’re going to hang them up on the walls and come decorate in here and we also have a woman doing face paintings of Christmas scenes,” said Vanessa Kane, one of the directors for Feel the Warmth.
In addition to visits with Santa and wintry face paintings, children got to enjoy music, entertainment from a juggler, lots of arts and crafts and plenty of holiday treats.
But the organization doesn’t just put smiles on the faces of the children it helps. Feel the Warmth has drawn continued participation from many volunteers who feel a close connection to the cause, including one volunteer who has been participating for four years.
“I got involved with Feel the Warmth maybe four years ago,” said Robert May. “I worked a little bit with the 5K they had originally in Phoenixville and then moved to Norristown shortly after that and I met Matt Frangiosa that way. I really loved what he was doing. I’m a Norristown kid. It’s where I grew up so I was really intrigued with the idea of helping out in Norristown and staying local.”
Feel the Warmth is a Philadelphia area non-profit that provides school supplies, uniforms, winter coats, children’s books and toys to the less fortunate children in the greater Philadelphia region. The organization is based in Jeffersonville and was created when founder Matt Frangiosa noticed a neighbor of his outside in 20 degree weather because the neighbor’s son had lost his coat and he had to wear his. Since then, the non-profit has made its way to other areas in the region, most recently, Pottstown’s Steel River Playhouse.
“We have coat drives throughout the year at local companies and the same thing with school supplies. Sometimes we get toys donated as well,” explained Kane. “We wanted to do an event this year to distribute some of the toys we have in our warehouse. I used to volunteer here at Steel River and I thought, ‘Let’s do it here.”
The event lasted from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. and concluded with the toy giveaway.
To learn more about Feel the Warmth, visit www.feelthewarmth.org.