Students in Renee Fain’s mild cognitive impairment class at Lake Shore High School present the St. Clair Shores Goodfellows with canned food they collected during the 2019 food drive. The district is once again collecting food items to support the Goodfellows’ efforts.

Students in Renee Fain’s mild cognitive impairment class at Lake Shore High School present the St. Clair Shores Goodfellows with canned food they collected during the 2019 food drive. The district is once again collecting food items to support the Goodfellows’ efforts.

Photo provided by Lake Shore Public Schools


Goodfellows raise money to make holidays bright

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published November 18, 2021

Advertisement

ST. CLAIR SHORES — As has been the case for the past 90 years, the St. Clair Shores Goodfellows don’t want anyone to go without a Christmas.

The local charitable organization is looking for volunteers to stand on street corners and at local businesses during the first Saturday in December, selling the annual Goodfellows Newspaper to raise money for its annual holiday giving.

“We get volunteers ... from all over the city to help,” said Mike Koch, president of the St. Clair Shores Goodfellows. “We’re on every major corner in the city.”

This is the Goodfellows’ only fundraiser of the year to ensure that seniors and underprivileged families with children have a Christmas holiday. Although local schools, including Lake Shore Public Schools, collect canned goods for the Goodfellows to make food baskets, the money collected by volunteers is used to purchase gifts and gift cards for recipients, all of whom live in St. Clair Shores.

The St. Clair Shores Goodfellows typically help about 125 families each year. Fewer people actually needed help with food in 2020, Koch said, because of the amount of aid that was available elsewhere due to the pandemic.

“There were so many organizations last year giving out food,” he said. “In our area, from a food standpoint, people were well taken care of, which was great to see.”

He’s not sure if that will be the case in 2021.

“I do know there is not as much extra food being distributed by various organizations, as things have started to return to normal, so I would guess that our need for food is going to be fairly high again this year,” he guessed.

Koch said there were fewer volunteers in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but even so, donors stepped up to the plate.

“People made a point of helping and finding people that were selling papers,” Koch said. “We did not lose revenue from our paper sales because of the lack of help. The citizens were as generous as ever in helping out.”

The volunteers who did come out in 2020 had a different experience than usual; typically, firefighters make a chili lunch for volunteers, but they could not have people inside the building in 2020, so no refreshments were offered.

“This year, I’m happy to say, we are bringing that back, and we are going to supply refreshments and the firefighters are going to make chili for us,” Koch said.

Volunteers can come to the St. Clair Shores Central Fire Station, 26700 Harper Ave., between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Dec. 4 to pick up supplies and be directed to a sales location.

Volunteers younger than 18 years old cannot sell newspapers on street corners for safety reasons, but they can still volunteer to help at local businesses, Koch said.

Donations can be made at any time, payable to the St. Clair Shores Goodfellows, c/o SCS Fire Department, 26700 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores, MI 48081.

Those in need of assistance should call (586) 980-0400 to inquire about an appointment for screening. That number is the Goodfellows’ helpline, Koch said.

“They can call that number, and ... we will set up an appointment with them and that gets the ball rolling,” he said. “All they have to do is call that number.”

Advertisement