Detroit Goodfellows aims to raise $1.4 million

As of this week, the Old Newsboys' Goodfellow Fund of Detroit has raised almost $540,000 representing 38.4 percent of its 2009 fundraising goal of $1.4 million, which the group hopes to meet by the end of its fiscal year on January 31. The organization is currently some $860,000 short of its fundraising goal.

Of the total amount raised to date, $69,718 was raised through the 95th Annual Detroit Goodfellows' Sales Day on November 30. Hundreds of Detroit Goodfellows and Detroit Police officers sold a special "Goodfellow edition" of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News in various locations throughout the city.

"We are confident that the public, as always, will help us meet our fundraising goal," said Debbie Michelson, president of the Detroit Goodfellows. "This year we are distributing 36,000 packages to children in need throughout Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park -- 6,000 more than last year -- so it is imperative that we reach our goal."

"We have never failed to reach our fundraising goal in our 95-year history. Our organization depends largely on the generosity of donors who send us whatever they can afford -- be it a couple of dollars or much more. We know the Detroit Goodfellows have touched the lives of so many metro Detroiters, many of whom remember getting Goodfellow packages when they were children," added Michelson.

With all donations collected, Detroit Goodfellows will distribute 36,000 gift packages through Detroit Police precincts to needy children in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park from Dec. 7 through Dec. 19. New this year, 900 hand-dressed teddy bears will be given to little boys age 4, along with 13,000 hand-dressed dolls given to little girls aged 4-11, as part of the Goodfellow gift packages containing books, warm clothes, toys and candy. The packages will be provided to children whose names were submitted by public, private, parochial and charter school officials. It is estimated that one out of every three Detroit public schoolchildren receives a Detroit Goodfellows holiday gift box.

Tax-deductible donations may be sent to: The Old Newsboys' Goodfellow Fund of Detroit, P.O. Box 44444, Detroit, MI 48244-0444. Donations may also be made using the organization's secure website:

Founded in 1914, the Detroit Goodfellows is the original and oldest Goodfellow organization and is not affiliated with any other Goodfellow group.

It also sponsors an emergency dental program for children, awards scholarships through Wayne State University, provides free shoes to children in need and helps send hundreds of needy children to camp each summer.

The Old Newsboys' Goodfellow Fund of Detroit is a 95-year-old charity founded in 1914 by James J. Brady.

The organization includes 300 members whose sole mission is to ensure that there is "No Kiddie without a Christmas."

Published: Wed, Dec 2, 2009