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At the Citizen of the Year celebration on January 30, 2024

Individual tickets for this special event cover dinner and access to an intimate conversation with MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi and actor/activist George Takei. All proceeds will benefit The Philadelphia Citizen, Philly’s only nonprofit, nonpartisan, solutions-focused civic media outlet.


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Be a Better Philadelphia Citizen

Here's how

One of the founding tenets of The Philadelphia Citizen is to get people the resources they need to become better, more engaged citizens of their city.

We hope to do that in our Good Citizenship Toolkit, which includes a host of ways to get involved in Philadelphia — whether you want to contact your City Councilmember about making sure kids have access to sports programs and places to play, get those experiencing homelessness the goods they need, or simply go out to dinner somewhere where you know your money is going toward a greater good.

Find an issue that’s important to you in the list below, and get started on your journey of A-plus citizenship.

Vote and strengthen democracy

Stand up for marginalized communities

Create a cleaner, greener Philadelphia

Help our local youth and schools succeed

Support local businesses

The Year In — Good Citizen — Sports

Win or lose on the field, Philadelphia athletes and teams continued to make us proud in 2023 with their extracurricular commitment to community.

The Year In — Good Citizen — Sports

Win or lose on the field, Philadelphia athletes and teams continued to make us proud in 2023 with their extracurricular commitment to community.

They may not always give us a W on the scoreboard, but we know we can always count on our Philly sports stars to be champions off the field.

Over the past year, we’ve watched so many of our players and teams give back to children, families, and folks experiencing hunger, homelessness, illness or other hardships. Here, a look back at some of our favorite athletes’ do-good moments of 2023, with tips for you to give back like the pros.

When the Phils honored community heroes

Wheeler, the dog.

Each year, Phillies Charities, Inc., the charitable arm of the Phillies, honors community heroes with recognition and financial support. At their recent holiday celebration, the organization honored more than three-dozen local programs — including Paws & Affection, the nonprofit that trains service dogs to support kids with special needs. Included in the celebration: Wheeler, a two-year-old goldendoodle named for his pitcher hero.

Do this: Support Paws & Affection.

When a big guy shared big feelings

Lane Johnson, in his 2021 interview on Fox News.

For too long, the mainstream has stigmatized mental health issues, keeping folks suffering in silence. The tide has increasingly changed thanks to outspoken mental health advocates like Eagles Offensive Tackle (and Philly Specials baritone) Lane Johnson, who this year, partnered with the School District of Philadelphia to introduce its online mental health partner, Kooth.

On November 28, Johnson, who struggles with anxiety, visited Northeast High School to celebrate students’ high enrollment in the program. Johnson has also received the nomination for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award, which honors players for their service to others.

Do this: Support the School District of Philadelphia’s mental health efforts.

When Gritty starred as a very Philly pinup

Photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Flyers

Forget sexy firefighters: 2024’s must-have calendar is this first-ever homage to Gritty. At $25 each, all proceeds benefit the Flyers Charities, an organization that invests in, among other endeavors, supporting local families impacted by cancer.

Do this: Buy a calendar.

When Lloyd, Hurts, Ali et al supported our girls

Left to right: Colleen Wolfe, Jalen Hurts, Laila Ali, Carli Lloyd and Qiana “Star” Wright. Photo courtesy of the he Philadelphia Eagles.

As kids headed back to school this year, the Philadelphia Eagles and Operation Warm launched FLY:FWD, an initiative to distribute 30,000 sports bras to athletes in need across the tri-state region.

To kick off the initiative, NFL Network’s Colleen Wolfe, Eagles QB Jalen Hurts, International Boxing Hall of Fame World Champion and WSF Past President Laila Ali, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time FIFA World Cup Champion Carli Lloyd, and Women’s Professional Tackle Football pioneer and philanthropist Qiana “Star” Wright spoke about the importance of supporting girls in sports at an event at Northeast High School.

Do this: Support Fly: FWD

When All-Star bats went to all-star boys

Media Little Leaguers with Phils centerfielder Nick Castellanos, the tallest one.

It was a thrill to watch Media’s Little League team in this summer’s Little League World Series. And even though their run ended when they lost to those sluggers from Rhode Island, our Phillies made them feel like pros. They were all there: Schwarber, Turner, Stott, Marsh, Walker, Sosa, and Hoskins, bless him. Backup Catcher Garrett Stubbs got his jersey signed approximately 1 billion times. Right Fielder Nick Castellanos gave every Media player a custom wood bat. Superstar Bryce Harper even “got all emotional” in front of them.

(Also, while in the Media section of the stands, the Phils did their signature ballsy celebration.)

Do this: Support youth sports.

When coffee and a good book made people’s day

Dallas Goedert at CHOP.

When most of us get hurt, we whine. When Eagles Tight End Dallas Goedert was sidelined with a fractured forearm in November, he went to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to read stories — Dragons Love Tacos! — to patients, hand out coffee from — where else? — Wawa to families, and spend quality time with kids.

Do this: Support CHOP.

When the smiliest Sixer made others smile

Tyrese Maxey and friends.

As if Sixers Guard Tyrese Maxey’s grin isn’t enough of a gift to our city, Maxey regularly delivers joy to others through his foundation, as when he distributed 1,000 turkeys to families for Thanksgiving and gave out candy to kiddos on Halloween.

Do this: Support the Tyrese Maxey Foundation.

When mini pitches added up to big fun for kids

A Subaru mini pitch.

With the support of partners like Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer, Rebuild and Parks & Recreation, the Philadelphia Union have been building mini pitches (ahem, soccer fields, for non-Ted Lasso-ans). The newest one debuted this fall at Gifford Playground, to the delight of many a Messi fan.

Do this: Support youth soccer.

When we held meaningful moments of silence — together

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Most of us are still speechless when it comes to expressing our full range of emotions about the war in the Middle East. But perhaps the Phillies captured our feelings best by saying nothing at all. On October 11, they held a moment of silence before game three of the NLDS at the Bank. In the days that followed, many sports teams followed their lead.

Do this: Support interfaith understanding.

When a captain used his voice against violence

Alejandro Bedoya, center front, and the Philadelphia Union.

Philadelphia Union Captain and Midfielder, Alejandro Bedoya famously uses his voice on the field for causes off the field — like the need to address our country’s staggering gun violence epidemic. Growing up near Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, site of the 2018 Parkland shooting, he feels a personal connection to the cause.

For his outspokenness, Bedoya won the MLS’s 2022 Humanitarian of the Year award. More recently, he received the 2023 Audi Goals Drive Progress Impact Award from the Philadelphia Equity Alliance, Gun Violence Intervention Strategy for the City of Philadelphia and the Civic Coalition to Save Lives. Audi will donate $120,000 to the Alliance to support Bedoya’s work.

Do this: Learn more about gun violence prevention.

When a brother’s loss created a powerful legacy

Joel Embiid and son Arthur at last year’s All-Star game.

The In Memory of Arthur (IMOA) Initiative is Sixers Center-Forward Joel Embiid’s philanthropic organization. Named for Embiid’s late brother, Arthur, who died in 2014 at age 13, the organization’s goal is simple. Embiid — who named his son after his brother — told Sean Kennedy, “As an NBA player, I’ve been blessed with resources and influence, and with IMOA, I hope to pour back everything I have into my community, by empowering the experts that are the real MVPs of making a difference.”

So far, he’s given grants and his time to a wide range of local organizations. YEAH Philly, Boys & Girls Club of Philadelphia, and Philadelphia Youth Basketball, to name a few.

Do this: Support YEAH Philly.

When Jason Kelce did, well, anything

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Eagles.

His documentary, Kelce, made us cry. His daughters crack us up. His connection to Taylor Swift keeps us riveted. But what we love most about Eagles Center Jason Kelce is his big, honkin’ heart. No one else in Philadelphia can unify folks around good causes like he can. Kelce’s now done this countless times, raising millions of dollars for youth causes with his Underdog clothing line, A Philly Special Christmas album and its spectacular sequel, and anything else he pours his heart into — like bartending down the Shore to raise money for the Eagles Autism Foundation.

We’ll take him on the field and on the New Heights podcast for as long as he’ll stay, all the while hoping that once he does retire, he continues to champion Philadelphia … in a Mummers suit, or from City Hall. Kelce for Mayor, anyone?

Do this: Be like Jason.


Jason Kelce being awesome at an Eagles fundraiser event. Courtesy the Philadelphia Eagles.

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