Philly Specials raise more than $3M for Philabundance, other charities 

Philadelphia Eagles players Jason Kelce, Lane Johnson and Jordan Mailata, aka The Philly Specials, have donated more than $3 million from selling their limited-edition holiday vinyl, A Philly Special Christmas Special (Vera Y Records). 

Recipients include Children’s Crisis Treatment Center’s toy drive and summer camp, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Snowflake Station, Philabundance, Ronald McDonald House, Feed America, Toys for Tots and the Fresh Air Fund. In addition to the initial commitment to CCTC and CHOP, each musician who participated in the project selected organizations to receive donations. 

“I am overwhelmed with gratitude that we were able to double the amount of money we donated last year,” said executive producer Connor Barwin. “It was a special group of people that came together to make this record, and I am proud to see that diversity represented in the range of organizations this record has been able to support.”

Released in advance of A Philly Special Christmas Special, singles “This Christmas,” “All I Want for Christmas is You,” “Fairytale of Philadelphia” and “Pretty Paper” have garnered over 10 million streams across platforms. “Fairytale of Philadelphia” reached No. 1 on iTunes, 61,000 units have been sold on vinyl and the stop-motion special created by unPOP Animation, A Philly Special Christmas Special, has been viewed half a million times with 10,000 live viewers tuning in to its premiere on Thanksgiving night. 

“It’s a testament to the power of music, friendship, community, the city of Philadelphia and most of all the enjoyment we had making and sharing these songs,” said producer Charlie Hall. “To be able to have this kind of an impact on such a breadth of worthy organizations is both humbling and is truly the icing on the cake.”

Following the runaway success of their debut LP, A Philly Special Christmas, Kelce, Johnson, and Mailata reunited with Hall and Barwin to release their second holiday album, A Philly Special Christmas Special. Recorded during the NFL off-season and comprised of 10 holiday classics and an original tune by Kelce, “Santa’s Night,” a limited-edition LP, has been released on red vinyl, a double disc of A Philly Special Christmas Special and 2022’s A Philly Special Christmas released on limited edition gold vinyl in addition to the album being available on all streaming services.

Recorded and mixed once again by Nick Krill, the trio called upon local musicians, including Patti LaBelle, Amos Lee, The Hooters’ Eric Bazilian and Rob Hyman, DMHotep (Sun Ra Arkestra), Kevin Hanson (The Fractals, Huffamoose), Luke Carlos O’Reilly, Waxahatchee, members of The War on Drugs, Dr. Dog, mewithoutYou and The Silver Ages Choir, to truly make this a Philly special.