Teens travel to help Phila. community

December 26, 2008 10:05:56 AM PST
Hundreds of teenagers spent the day after Christmas giving back to the community. But the twist is: It's not their own community they were serving. Approximately 300 teenagers from the Washington, D.C. chapter of BBYO, a community group for Jewish teens, came to the Point Breeze section of Philadelphia to clean streets, pick up debris, and spruce up a few alleys.

It was all in the name of giving back.

"We work on ourselves a lot, we do a lot of community service together with our chapters in conventions. But now we're going out and helping the community and I think it's really important," said volunteer Lisa Rosenthal.

The selflessness shown by these teenagers has proven overwhelming for local leaders in Point Breeze, including Al Brown, President of the Point Breeze Performing Arts Center.

"It's great to see that many young people come in to South Philly and doing something positive," Brown said. "These are kids from the suburbs, they came all the way from Northern Virginia, so that's incredible that they're doing this."

The neighbors here appreciate the effort as well.

"They do it from the bottom of their hearts. They enjoy doing what they're doing, and that's a great thing," said Florence Dixon. "And they make me feel better about the block."

BBYO worked in conjuction with South Philadelphia HOMES, an organization that works to provide affordable housing to people in this community.

Officials from BBYO say they fully intend to come back next year.

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