Volunteers camp out in North Philly overnight to raise money for youth nonprofit

Cherri Gregg
November 13, 2018 - 4:56 pm

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Several volunteers camped out overnight to raise money for a North Philadelphia nonprofit dedicated to helping inner-city youth. 

Ryan Harris is the founder of As I Plant This Seed, which works to uplift Philadelphia's youth. He and several volunteers camped out at Broad and Hunting Park Avenue for their '#30KtoPlay' launch, a 48-hour fundraising effort where volunteers stayed up all night to raise money to purchase a new facility. 
 
"It's not enough room, we grew out of that facility. So we are looking to do our own thing," said Harris. "We are not sitting around and waiting on people anymore. In 24 hours we were able to accomplish $15,000."
 
The Cheyney University of Pennsylvania graduate, who grew up in the Hunting Park section of Philadelphia, began working with young people in 2012. For the past few years, he's operated the organization out of a room at the Lenfest Center at 10th and Pike street, mentoring scores of kids and holding events.


 
"Once people start believing in themselves, we can move mountains," he said. 

Natasha Fletcher, one of the volunteers who used a bullhorn to get the attention of busy drivers, says they are working to be the change they want to see.

"We want to have our own building to be able to continue our mentorship program. We are here for the youth," she said.
 
Thanks to busy traffic and social media, the organization has had a steady stream of generous supporters, like Princess Pullium.
 
"I got up this morning and went on Facebook and saw Ryan still out here," she said. "It just moved my heart to come out here and donate. This is for the youth."


 
The donations came in all sizes.
 
"She gave me like $2," said Fletcher as she tucked the money into one of their donations bins. "But $2 dollars is work, $2 dollars is some nails banging in the wall of that building we are going to get."
 
Harris and his team hope to open their own center to give children in the area something constructive to do. Some of the volunteers referred to the recent rise in shootings involving kids. They are hoping that providing more services for youth will change lives.
 
For more information on As We Plant This Seed, check out their Facebook Page.