Goodfellows collections increase in two cities

By CHRIS JACKETT
Times-Herald Newspapers

After another year of paper sales, Dearborn and Dearborn Heights Goodfellows recorded increased collections compared to last year.

Heights’ final tally is about $40,000, up from $37,600 in 2009. Dearborn, which still is collecting funds from various groups, earned more than $20,000 from the paper sales as of Thursday night, compared to $16,000 last year.

“They’re up from last year, which is great,” said Larry Johnson, Dearborn Goodfellows president. “We had a few more paper sellers, which we can attribute to the new Facebook page, and younger kids bringing in their friends (once they) find out how worthwhile it is.”

Johnson said Dearborn Goodfellows’ goal is to raise between $40,000 and $50,000 this year to help children and families in need. Although between 50 and 60 percent of those funds were raised from the already tallied paper sale revenue, Johnson believes the Goodfellows will reach their goal after other local organizations turn in their paper sale collections and funds from the Smoke on the Grill event in September are factored in.

“We’re well on our way to our goal this year,” Johnson said. “I saw more $5, $10, $20 bills this year than I had seen in many years.”

Spending portions of both Dec. 3 and 4 at the Cherry Hill and Telegraph Road intersection, Johnson said passers-by were much more generous this year despite the tough economy.

“It was just so impressive to see so many $5, $10, $20 bills,” Johnson said. “I had one gentleman drive by and give me a $200 check.”

In the nearby Heights area, the police and reserves led the way, collecting more than $7,600, nearly double the $4,100 the Professional Firefighters collected.

Although not everyone could make a monetary or time donation, Johnson said the Dearborn Goodfellows still are looking for volunteers.

“We have a lot of people who couldn’t handle the cold on the corner, but want to come out and help package,” he said.

Anyone still looking to help the Goodfellows can volunteer to package the gift boxes at 6 p.m. Dec. 23 or be a delivery driver or jumper at 8 a.m. Dec. 24. Both events begin at the Dearborn Department of Public Works, 2951 Greenfield Road, and do not require prior registration.

(Contact Chris Jackett at cjackett@bewickpublications.com)