A Philly Special Christmas Donates $250k to Fulfill Classroom Wish Lists

Article Contributed by Mixtape Media | Published on Friday, January 27, 2023

A Philly Special Christmas, the holiday album collaboration between Philadelphia Eagles Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, and Jordan Mailata, produced by Charlie Hall and executive produced by Connor Barwin, will donate $250,000 to fulfill all the classroom wish lists at charter and public schools, grades PreK - 12th, in the city of Philadelphia via DonorsChoose. Classrooms will receive funds for items including but not limited to basic supplies, fine art supplies, books for libraries, sporting equipment, snacks, and technology.  In December, $250,000 was donated to the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center.

"We wanted to find another organization that fit the original goal of A Philly Special Christmas, which was to provide gifts for kids in need around the holidays,” says Kelce. “DonorsChoose is an organization that teachers can utilize to help fulfill their classroom wish lists. Philadelphia schoolteachers face many obstacles -- one major one being classroom funding that our kids desperately need. Teachers often have to spend their own money to get the items their students need, which they often cannot and should not have to do. We felt DonorsChoose would be a great way to impact as many Philadelphia children as possible by fulfilling wish lists of teachers across the city to help facilitate a more enjoyable and efficient learning environment. We are overjoyed with the amount of support this album received and we never imagined being able to make an impact of this size. We are so grateful to everyone who purchased a copy of the album.”

"As the parent of a Philadelphia public high schooler, and husband of a charter school counselor (and former schoolteacher myself), I have seen firsthand the need for the materials necessary for teachers to do their jobs and for students to thrive,” says producer Charlie Hall. “DonorsChoose is the perfect partner for ensuring that our hardworking teachers can be creative and have all the tools they need to help create that spark for students."

Additionally, the remaining balance of earnings from A Philly Special Christmas will be distributed amongst twenty-three different organizations in Greater Philadelphia including Ars Nova Workshop, Bartrams Garden, Beyond The Bars, Boys and Girls Club Camden, Canine Partners For Life, Center For Black Educator Development, Chester Children's Choir, Food Bank of Delaware, Germantown Friends School (non-tuition student financial aid), Herb it Forward, Honor Flight Philadelphia, The Jewish Federation of Philadelphia, Philly Goat Project, Philly Thruce, Philadelphia Children Alliance, Prevention Point, The Philadelphia Midwife Collective, Mighty Writers, MTWB, Nationalities Service Center, Student-Run Emergency Housing Unit of Phila, Inc, Unity Community Center, World Cafe Live, and The Women's Coalition For Empowerment Inc.

DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. Since 2000, 5,666,841 people and partners have contributed $1,415,458,332 to support 2,524,616 teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders. Charity Navigator and GuideStar have awarded DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, their highest ratings for transparency and accountability.
This summer, Eagles teammates Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson, Jordan Mailata, Connor Barwin and producer Charlie Hall (The War on Drugs) joined forces to record a A Philly Special Christmas. The seven song LP features classic holiday songs and performances from the aforementioned players as well as Marshall Allen (Sun Ra Arkestra), Rob Hyman (The Hooters), Eric Bazilian (The Hooters), Zach Miller (Dr. Dog), Robbie Bennett (The War on Drugs), Eliza Hardy Jones (The War on Drugs), Brandon Beaver (MeWithoutYou), Thomas Hughes (The Spinto Band), Randy Huth (Pissed Jeans), Nick Krill (The Spinto Band, Teen Men), Nasir Dickerson, Kaila Vandever, Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner, and The Silver Ages. Eagles announcer Merrill Reese and players Jalen Hurts, AJ Brown, Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, and Jordan Davis all make appearances.
A Philly Special Christmas was released on December 23, 2022 digitally and its limited pressing on vinyl sold out immediately.  The record reached four top ten spots on various Billboard Music Charts including #1 on the Compilation Albums chart.