“Don’t get me wrong, the city is hurtin’–especially when it comes to money. But damn, ain’t the rich still rich, and the famous still famous? They don’t have to save the whole city–we did most of this to ourselves–but damn, help save the kids. Somebody can do something.”
It was clear things had become ugly when the mere mention of the School District of Philadelphia invoked a prayer of some form for the students.
However, because of a rich and famous person doing something, on November 8th, 500 computers–including 200 desktops and 300 laptops–were donated to the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation, and the School District of Philadelphia.
For the youth at 27 recreation centers and eight schools, the donation of $250,000 towards the computers by actor, comedian and Philadelphia native, Kevin Hart, is comparable to an early Christmas gift.
“I felt like the city was in a time of need. I feel like it’s good to step up and show kids that regardless of where I’m at in my life now, I once sat in the same seat they sit in. This city made me. So, me reaching back is me showing them, you have the same opportunity that I had, and it’s just time to make the best of it. You’re not alone. You have people like me that care and hopefully me doing what I’m doing will provoke other people to step up and do the same and help out when they can,” said Hart in an interview with Hot 107.9 here in Philly.
The truth is: a lot of “every-day” Philadelphians–many of whom aren’t rich in the least bit–have done something. Be it volunteering their time; organizing community conversations and protests; donating money, good or services; or mentoring our youth–Philadelphian’s have done something.
Has it been enough to quiet and soothe this beast of a problem? Hell no, but it has been people doing what they can. And that counts; I know they don’t bring out the media and press releases for the every-day people, but their time and efforts still matter. Now, politics don’t make solving this problem any easier. I mean think about it: even if someone wanted to donate money to the school district, part of the problem that has been identified in this crisis is mismanagement of funds.
Regardless of the fact, something can still be done.
Hart donated money towards computers. But can someone cover the costs of new books and supplies; or a program that offers a small stipend to college education and psychology students who can go in and provide teaching and mediation support; or better after-school options; SOMETHING? Granted, this isn’t a cut-and-dry, black-and-white problem–but we’ve got to continue to do more and it seems that Hart agrees.
“I can only do but so much. It’s sad and I know they are struggling and it’s at a point where the city can only do but so much because the debt that they are in. This is when I really, really need a voice and it’s funny because I didn’t know how I could be a voice, how I could do things. I’m a comedian, I’m not trying to go out and talk about politics, I’m not doing that, that’s not my lane,” he said in a quote via
NecoleBitchie.com, “then by accident, I found my lane, helping my city. That’s my lane, trying to put my city on my back, uplift it and showing these kids that I give a damn. By showing them that I give a damn, hopefully, it’ll keep them interested to stay in school, and make it out, like I did.”
Hart isn’t the only famous and rich person to make it in this city. Hell, there are plenty of them who aren’t entertainment figures; who benefit from the tax-breaks and perks afforded to corporations who set up shop in our city; who drive pass the neighborhoods where children’s futures are being sacrificed every single day; who flood our “hoods” with their music, food, beverages, clothes, etc.; and they have yet to lift a finger let alone a phone or dollar. So as not to be misconstrued as bashing, please know that there are some of the aforementioned types who DO strive to make a positive impact, but all too often many of them are still caught up or drowning in “red tape”.
Something’s require strategic use of the press and media, and leveraging of interests and images to really get a much-needed change accomplished.
So to Kevin Hart, thank you for being a game changer. To everyone else, feel free to follow [or continue following] suit.
To our Philadelphia youth: Don’t you all think for one second that you have an excuse to be anything but educated and full of greatness in your life. I know adults have created a hell of a situation for you, but by all means, I still expect you to emerge from this as the powerful champion that you are meant to be. Success doesn’t come easy and it always follows a struggle. Unfortunately, enough adults messed up to the point where getting a public education is a major part of your struggle. It still doesn’t matter: seek out a mentor, a tutor–anyone who can help you get a step closer to your education. Cherish the help that has been given to you from everyday people as well as celebs like Kevin Hart because although their bank accounts and visibility of success may be different, their love and care for you is not.
See you loves at the top.
– Sincerely Syreeta