Emergency Toy Drive – Late Sunday Update #PGHSavesXmas

I have never loved Pittsburgh more.  Today, and really all weekend – I’ve seen the best of what Pittsburgh has to offer.  And, I didn’t even have time to watch the Steeler game.

Less than 60 hours ago – I put out a call for help on Facebook.  And Pittsburgh – you have stepped up in ways I could have never imagined.  I had no idea what I was getting into.  We aren’t done yet – but I want to tell you what the volunteers accomplished today.

First of all – THANK YOU to everyone who has donated, volunteered and spread the word.  You have made it possible to literally move mountains of toys.

On Saturday at Noon – I spoke with the woman from the East Hills Residents Community Council.  They had basically canceled the holiday party because they had nothing to distribute.  We immediately went to work and moved a truck load of toys from West Virginia into their community center yesterday.  On Saturday night, we put out a call for volunteers – and strangers responded.  I arrived at the East Hills Community Center at noon today – and volunteers – people I have never met, but who had read about the need on Facebook had already begun to sort and inventory.

It took 14 hours, multiple trips to the store, two deliveries of pizza and at least 30 volunteers but I am pleased to report we have completely filled the need in East Hills! Here is what was done today…

  • Prepared toy packages for 275 families – over 575 kids
  • Prepared stocking for all of the kids
  • Prepared gifts for 30 more kids who are part of the Martial Arts Against Street Violence program

The volunteers who showed up at 11 am – stayed until 1am – that is 14 hours of non-stop work.  And these were volunteers from all over the city AND a whole crew of volunteers from the Residents Council who started at 9am.

This was made possible by you – the generous people of Pittsburgh.

There is still more work to be done.  We found out Sunday morning that there are 500 kids on the North Side who need gifts.  I know that we had a whole crew working on this over at Most Wanted Fine Art but we WILL NEED MORE HELP on Monday!!!

Please see the latest posts in the Emergency Toy Drive Facebook Group.   We will definitely need more toy donations.  So keep those coming.

If you are buying toys to donate:

  • craft kits are great
  • games are great because they are good items to share with families – I’m pretty sure we bought every Jenga near East Hills.
  • don’t buy toys that require batteries
  • don’t wrap the toys before you donate them

If you know of someone who would be willing to donate food or pizza for their holiday party on Tuesday – that would be a welcome addition and I can help to coordinate.  Please contact me lindsay@iheartpgh.com.

Here are a few photos from today:

A brief note about East Hills – this is a Pittsburgh neighborhood that is in need – and there is so much help that is needed there.  I hope this is the beginning of a much larger relationship and I ask you to help me tell and share the stories of our fellow neighbors who are often not part of the larger Pittsburgh conversation.  I can tell you right now that there are kids that need beds out there – and I’ve promised to follow up with the East Hills Residence Council about this in January – if you want to help (or if you have a bed you don’t need) – please let me know.

Halloween in Pittsburgh: Local Bloggers Offer Treats to Read

I was just planning on putting up a blog post that highlights some of the best photos and tweets about Halloween from around town (you can find all of that stuff below).  I have spent this week writing about Halloween parties and I have spent this afternoon writing about Halloween apps over here.  All fun and fluffy stuff.  I clicked over the the Pittsburgh Bloggers Facebook group to add my links to the Friday link share post and I stopped to read what some of the other bloggers have shared this week.

While tricks and treats are fun, these bloggers have written some incredibly thoughtful posts about Halloween, giving, kindness and just being good people.  I think all of these posts are worth a read.  I really like the idea of thinking about Halloween and giving.  I sort of think of Halloween as the unofficial end of fall and beginning of the holiday season.  I’ve included a small quote from each of these three posts, but I would encourage you to click through and visit each of these blog posts and learn more about these writers and Pittsburghers.  In the middle of all of the candy fueled craziness, it is nice to be reminded about some things that really matter.

The Spirit of Giving: Light the Sky by Chelle Stein @Chelle_stein – be sure to check out the video she made of her journal, part of the Journal52 project.

Today is Halloween, and for me, this day is not so much about ghosts and those kinds of spirits as much as it is about the spirit of giving.

It begins a time of year when we are on the brink of our darkest days with no sunshine, yet the spirit of giving lights the way all through now until the end of the year.

Pittsburgh Plays It Forward With Holiday Toy Project by The Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents @PghLesbian24 – a great post offing an in-depth look at Play It Forward Pittsburgh, local nonprofit that I did not know about.  I think Sue’s idea to share this on Halloween is brilliant – another great idea at the beginning of the holiday season.

I’m publishing this on Halloween because I know a lot of families set aside costumes as playthings so you might consider doing that this year and sharing those items with neighbors.

A Real Mensch by Rabble Raiser @FunkyDung – this real Pittsburgh dad share a story about how his son has shown friendship to one of his preschool classmates.

That small gesture, that might have meant a lot to that little girl, is just the kind of thing he does. He’ll play with anyone. He can make friends with anyone. He’s not a loud, boisterous personality, though. He’s a quiet, silly, bouncy kid that is as comfortable doing his own thing in class or on the playground as he is cooperating and playing with a big crowd.

On several occasions, Joel has said, “I love everyone in the whole world”. I think I believe him.

List of Pittsburgh Halloween Parties for 2014


Have an awesome costume that you are looking to show off? Looking for an excuse to get out of the house? Pittsburgh is notorius for Halloween parties (The infamous Evaline Halloween Party which ended its 15 year run last year was featured in Spin Magazine).  Check out one or several of these upcoming Halloween parties around Pittsburgh.  Some are free and some are a little more expensive but benefit a good cause.

Even if parties aren’t you thing, be sure to check out some of the posters and artwork for these events – there are a few impressive posters and flyers for some of these events.  Check out our Pinterest board of Pittsburgh Posters here.

Celebrate Safely! Use the bus, have a designated driver, grab a cab, take Lyft or Uber  (for a free Lyft ride use code LIPA4 and for a free Uber ride use code IheartPGH).

The Ultimate List of Pittsburgh Halloween Parties for 2014

House of Mirors Dance Party to benefit Arthritis Foundation // Friday, October 24, 2014

  • Time: 9-11pm (the Bone Bash starts at 6pm)
  • Location:
  • Cost:  Dance Party Tickets are $35 for one, or $50 for two
  • Tickets

Jam on Walnut Halloween // Saturday, October 25, 2014


Rocky Horror Picture Show // Monday, October 27, 2014


Terror Island Tiki Party @ Brillobox //Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pittsburgh Halloween Party

Adventure Bingo @ Harvard & Highland // Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Halloween Bingo

Halloween Bash & b-movie @ Belvederes // Wednesday, October 29, 2014

  • Time: 9pm-2am
  • Location: Belvederes, 4016 Butler Street
  • Cost: Free
  • Facebook Event


Point Breezeway Costume Party Featuring Lil’ Rev // Friday, October 31, 2014

21+ Spirits and Spirits at Carnegie Science Center // Friday, October 31, 2014

  • Time: 7pm-11pm
  • Location: Carnegie Science Center
  • Costumes: Costumes are encouraged. Please no full face covering as everybody will be carded at the door.
  • Cost: $10 before October 31 at noon / $15 at the door
  • Website | Tickets | @CSCPittsburgh

Devil’s Night w/ Brenmar, Bamboo, and Edgar Um // Friday, October 31, 2014


Jergels 3rd Annual Halloween and Costume Party with Totally 80s // Friday, October 31, 2014

  • Time: 9pm
  • Location: Jergel’s Rhythm Grille, Warrendale
  • Costume: $2000 in prizes
  • Cost: $20-25
  • Website | Tickets | @jergels


GAPP Halloween Party // Saturday, November 1, 2014

  • Time: 9pm-2am
  • Location: James Street Gastro Pub, 422 Foreland Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15212
  • Costume: prizes for the best costumes
  • Cost: $15
  • Facebook Page | Tickets

GAPP halloween party


Bacchanalia // Saturday, November 1, 2014


HITCHCOCK! A Halloween Party at the Carrie Furnace // Saturday, November 1, 2014

  • Benefits: Rivers of Steel
  • Time: 8pm-1am
  • Location: Carrie Furnace, Rankin PA
  • Cost: $35
  • Tickets| @CarrieFurnaces

Pittsburgh Halloween Party Carrie Furnace

Dia de los Muertos: A Celebration of Life Supporting Global Links // Saturday, November 1, 2014


No Mames: Day of the Dead at Round Corner Cantina // Saturday, November 1, 2014


Wicked Good Time Gala // Saturday, November 14, 2014

  • Benefits: Fund It Forward – a nonprofit with the  goal to ease the burden of families with special needs children by helping raise money for adaptive equipment that insurance doesn’t cover.  @FunditFWD
  • Time: 6-10pm
  • Location: The Duquesne Club
  • Cost:  $175/person
  • Website | Tickets

More spooktacular ways to celebrate Halloween in Pittsburgh

Have a Handmade Halloween – Halloween Classes & Activities Around Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Halloween Classes

In addition to pumpkin pickin and hay rides, there are lots of other ways to get into the Halloween spirit around Pittsburgh this week.  While the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s blown glass pumpkin workshop has already sold out, there is still plenty of space left in the other workshops.  I know the glass workshops are popular and we’re already working on a post about ornament workshops for the holiday season.

Fused Glass Pumpkins at the Pittsburgh Glass CenterFriday. 10/24 – Make-It-Now Workshops @ Pittsburgh Glass Center

Friday, 10/24 – Spooky Science Sleepover @ Carnegie Science Center

  • Activities include a spooky live science demonstration, a family Halloween laser show, a late-night snack, and a continental breakfast
  • $35/person
  • More details available here
  • Call 412.237.1637 to register
  • Follow @CSCPittsburgh

Saturday, 10/25 – Halloween WorkShops @ TechShop

Saturday, 10/25 – Halloween Mayhem @ Kelly Strayhorne Theater

  • Noon-4pm
  • Zombies, a costume parade, puppets, live performances, games and more
  • FREE
  • Register online here

laser-etched-pumpkinMonday, 10/27 – Date Night: Laser Etched Pumpkins @ TechShop

  • Custom laser etched pumpkins
  • $55 for TechShop Members/$75 for Non-members
  • 5pm or 7pm
  • Register online here

Tuesday, 10/28 – Kids Create: Halloween Masks @ Carnegie Library Sheraden

  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Design and create your own Halloween mask in the children’s area.
  • Location: 720 Sherwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15204
  • More details here

Tuesday, 10/28 – Tween Workshop Tuesday: Halloween goo @ Carnegie Library Brookline

  • 3:30 PM – 4:30 PM
  • Come to the library to do crazy science with your friends. This month’s experiment – Halloween goo. Is it a liquid? Is it a solid? Does it bounce? Come find out!
  • All are welcome, but this program is especially recommended for ages 7-11.
  • Location: 708-710 Brookline Blvd., Pittsburgh, PA 15226
  • More details here

Friday, 10/31 – Kids Club Spooky Crafts @ Carnegie Library Mt. Washington

  • 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM
  • Stop in to make a spooky craft and get a treat.
  • Children grade K-5
  • Location: 315 Grandview Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15211
  • More details here

More Halloween Happenings Around Pittsburgh

Check out these posts from our fellow Pittsburgh bloggers about fall activities…

14 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Pittsburgh

Scan of a Valentine greeting card dated 1909.

Scan of a Valentine card dated 1909.

Thanks to the folks at Romeo Delivers for putting together our 2014 Valentine’s Day in Pittsburgh Guide.  Romeo Delivers is a Pittsburgh startup that is on a mission to help  bring a little more romance into relationships.

For some there’s an inverse relationship between Valentine’s Day and, well, happiness. It’s one of those holidays that taunts both singles and couples with anxiety. With a host of noteworthy things to do on the infamous day, and gift options that up your sex appeal and support local businesses: we can collectively skip that regrettable beer-you’re-my-favorite-Valentine moment this year. [Read more…]