FraserAugust 28, 2012
Goodfellows’ sale boasts large proceeds
By Nico Rubello
C & G Staff Writer
FRASER — Joyce Paoletti knows firsthand the goodwill that the Goodfellows can bring.
Growing up in poverty-stricken family in Detroit, regular Christmas gifts from the Goodfellows gave her the courage, hope and ability to go on, she said.
“I guess one of our neighbors put in our name to the Goodfellows. That was the very first Christmas I ever had. It really, really lifted our spirits,” she said. “If it wasn’t for the clothes (they brought), I would have never been able to go to school and get an education.”
Nowadays, the Fraser Goodfellows’ No Child Without a Christmas program accomplishes the same mission: Delivering Christmas meals, including a turkey and canned goods, to upwards of 75 needy Fraser families every holiday season.
To generate dollars for the program, the Goodfellows held a garage sale-style fundraiser on Aug. 22-24 at the Vintage House banquet center in Fraser. All proceeds went to benefit No Child Without a Christmas.
“We’ve had so much more stuff than what we’ve had before,” said Fraser Goodfellows President Robert Brannon of this year’s sale. “The community has been excellent.”
Brannon said the Goodfellows donated a large portion of the gifts that arrived under his family’s Christmas tree when he was a child. It was a fact that he didn’t learn from his mother until he was well into his teens.
Thanks to the time of volunteers and the donations of many, the Fraser Goodfellows are able to give with the same level of anonymity nowadays. The group will schedule gift drop-offs and pickups for parents, Brannon said.
“(The kids) don’t need to know that it came from us,” he said.
In past years, the Goodfellows’ garage sale has been held simultaneously with its other large fundraiser, a spaghetti dinner and auction, in early November. The dinner and auction will still go on this year, but will be separate for the first time.
Brannon said the reason for the split is that garage sales are more common during the summer, so the Goodfellows hoped to garner more money by moving the date up, in turn allowing them to give more to families in need.
It was a move that appeared to pay off. The sale raised more than $2,000, its largest collection ever. Sales were so good, in fact, that the Goodfellows surpassed the total proceeds from last year’s sale in the first day, Brannon said.
Donations, in the meantime, flooded in from Fraser, Clinton Township, Sterling Heights and Warren in the weeks leading up to the sale. The Goodfellows continued to pick up donations during the sale.
“Donations came in huge,” Brannon said. “We had three garages completely filled with donations prior to the auction.”
Outside Vintage House, people could be seen perusing a selection of furniture and patio sets, end-table knickknacks, electronics, books, sports gear, toys and just about everything else but the kitchen sink. They had a bathroom sink instead.
A 1930s table and a 1920s chair were among the more unique antiques sold, Brannon said.
“We had a family over in Warren. The dad died and the mom went into assisted living, so they donated the entire house to us,” Brannon said. “Everything. Dishes, you name it.”
Anything that wasn’t sold by the end of the sale on Aug. 24 was donated to either the St. Vincent de Paul Society or the Fraser Historical Commission, which is holding its own garage sale-style fundraiser on Sept. 9.
Fraser families in need of assistance this Christmas can apply to receive gifts by calling (586) 294-0450 and leaving a message.
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