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Detroit Goodfellows sell papers for charity

The Detroit News
Members of the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit gathered Monday for a group photo in the lobby of the Guardian Building before kicking off their newspaper sale.

Detroit — Members of the Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit braved the snow and cold Monday to sell papers to raise money for their annual campaign to provide holiday gifts for children.

The sales day started at 6 a.m. and lasted through lunchtime, the group said, as Detroit police officers and firefighters took to the streets to sell “Goodfellow editions” of The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press.

The charity also presented its annual parade Monday, which stepped off outside the Guardian Building in downtown Detroit and featured the Detroit School of Arts marching band.

The group gathered inside for a photo, then marched to Woodward Avenue.

Annie Nickert of Canton Township was among them.

"The angels are spitting on us, and I don't know why," she said. "It's not the greatest weather today." 

Nickert said she's been selling newspapers for the Goodfellows for 11 years.

Monday's snowy, chilly conditions couldn't dampen her spirit, however.

"I do it for the children," she said. "It's all about them. The children deserve to have a Christmas. There's nothing else in this. It's all for the kids."

Donations are welcome and money raised will go to the organization’s $1.25 million goal of 33,000 gift packages for needy children in Metro Detroit so there'll be "no kiddie without a Christmas," the Goodfellows' motto since the group was founded in 1914.

Previous sales days have raised more than $40,000, the nonprofit said in a news release.

Judges Emily Stanczak, left, 9, of Auburn Hills and Amaria Clark, 10, of Redford carefully consider their choices from an array of fancifully dressed dolls during the annual judging of the Goodfellows doll-dressing competition at Comerica Bank in downtown Detroit on Monday, Nov. 19, 2018. Hundreds of volunteers dress the thousands of dolls that will be distributed to little girls from poor families in Detroit and nearby cities.

An Old Newsboy accepts a donation from a little girl to help raise money for the Goodfellows fund during the 1953 Christmas season.

Sales Day is an important component for the organization, organizers said. So far, just under $364,000 has been raised, which is 29 percent of the goal.

Needy children in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, Harper Woods and River Rouge will receive gift packages Dec. 3-15. This year, 9,000 dolls will be given to little girls aged 4-9 as part of the Goodfellows packages, which also contain books, warm clothes, dental health kits, toys and candy.

Detroit Goodfellows has several other programs for needy children, including a dental program, a summer camp and an effort that provides them with shoes. 

For information, go to detroitgoodfellows.org.

Staff writer Charles E. Ramirez contributed.