PHP Organization Back-to-school supply drive at Burns Park
August 19-25, 2019
By Cait Smith
What started as an act of kindness has now blossomed into a tradition for a group of 13 young men known as Playhouse Productions or PHP. Many locals might not be aware of the children in need of school supplies each time the new year rolls around. To be of assistance with this problem, the members of PHP have organized a back-to-school supply drive for these children. At this event, kids can pick up school supplies, eat, play games and enjoy the outdoors.
This year marks their third annual drive and according to the members of PHP, it continues to exceed their expectations. “I can speak for most of us when I say it’s probably one of our favorite events of the year,” said member Caleb Jackson.
The event was hosted in Burns Park in North Little Rock, Arkansas on Sunday, August 4 where they had supplies – backpacks, paper, pencils, notebooks, etc. – lined up and ready for kids to take home. There was another station for food as well as face painting. This year was even more fun for them because along with games and a DJ there was a bouncy house. “All this wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support we have received from our family, friends, and the community of Little Rock,” said member Alex Morgan.
Playhouse Productions formed in 2012 when all the guys would gather together in one spot and hang out. Sometimes they would host parties to earn extra money. They found themselves making quite a bit of money which sparked an idea. “We thought it would be nice to give back some of the proceeds that we were earning,” said Jackson. A school drive at a local church inspired the guys to host one of their own. “Our first drive did well, so we’re going to keep it going,” said Morgan.
As a fairly new organization, Morgan and Jackson stated how they have had hardships while trying to get the back-to-school supply drive off the ground. “A lot of places deny us, or they don’t want to sponsor us,” said Jackson. Both members described the process as frustrating while trying to find people who would be willing to donate and/or sponsor. Also, some of the PHP members own work schedules can get in the way. “The biggest challenge aside from getting sponsors is finding out when we’re all available,” explained Morgan.
However, setbacks don’t stop them from getting the job done. “The more no’s we’ve gotten has only pushed us harder to continue,” said Morgan. Their drive has now supplied over 350+ kids in the last three years combined. Both Morgan and Jackson want to continue growing the back-to-school school drive in size and numbers, in hopes to reach more people of central Arkansas.
To get connected with Playhouse Productions, you can find them on Facebook at Playhouse Productions and on Instagram and Twitter @PHPNights.
PHOTO CAPTIONS: (Photos by Cait Smith)
1. Kids could fill their backpacks with school supplies such as paper, notebooks, and pencils.
2. Members of Playhouse Productions gathered together for a photo in celebration of a successful turn out for their back-to-school supply drive.
3-7. Children had multiple options for different types of entertainment such as face painting, hopscotch, baggo, four square, dodgeball, bowling, and jump rope. Fun was had by all.