Thanks to the efforts of Goodfellows from New Baltimore and Chesterfield Township, nearly 200 local families in need will have a brighter Christmas this year.
Volunteers from both communities worked this season to achieve their goal of “no child without a Christmas.”
New Baltimore Goodfellows Vice President Florence Hayman said the group is supporting about 65 families this year by providing them with Christmas gifts and coordinating with food pantries to make sure they have something to eat.
About 100 volunteers raised funds in New Baltimore by making and selling the 72nd edition of the Goodfellows’ newspaper, Hayman said. Donations from the public also helped the group achieve their goal.
“We have very generous donors,” she said. “We wouldn’t be able to do it without all the people who donate.”
Teachers in the Anchor Bay School District also helped collect gifts for the Goodfellows, Hayman noted.
“We had 32 Anchor Bay High School ROTC kids help us this year,” she said. “We couldn’t do it without them.”
The families supported by the New Baltimore Goodfellows must live in the Anchor Bay School District.
Chesterfield Goodfellows hosted their annual “No Child Without a Christmas” fundraiser earlier this month at Salt River, drawing a record number of guests.
“We had our biggest crowd ever: 180 guests,” said Tracy Antrikin, the group’s secretary and treasurer. “This is one of several fundraisers that helps support our cause, "no child without a Christmas.”
Their efforts this holiday season helped brighten Christmas for 132 Chesterfield Township families, including 317 children, she said.
Goodfellows also collected toys at Chesterfield Township Fire Station No. 3 and had collection barrels placed at various local businesses.
“Think back to your childhood, waking up Christmas morning, excited to see the presents under the tree,” Antrikin said. “The Chesterfield Goodfellows allow as many children in need in Chesterfield as we can reach the chance to experience that feeling.”
Chesterfield Goodfellows distributed toys to families Dec. 15.
“This program also helps take some stress and anxiety off the shoulders of the parents so they too can enjoy the holiday,” she noted.