Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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November 27, 2010

Goodfellows sign-ups beginning next week

The charity helped buy clothing for more than 2,300 children last year.

With Thanksgiving all but over — except for the leftovers, of course — volunteers at Goodfellows are gearing up for the Christmas shopping week at Meijer on East Markland Avenue.

To qualify for holiday assistance, families need to sign up from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 1401 N. Washington St., next to Marsh.

Goodfellows, which provides clothing for children, began in 1911 when Kokomo Tribune employees came together to provide Christmas for a needy family. They continued the tradition of giving year after year, and the organization became known as Goodfellows in 1969.

The program spends about $120,000 each year on clothing for needy children, with the majority of donations coming from WWKI’s We Care program and individual donations.

People needing aid can also apply for programs provided by The Salvation Army and the Marine Corps Toys for Tots.

To apply for Goodfellows assistance, people need to bring identification and Social Security numbers for the adults and children in the household, income verification and receipts showing how the income is used.

Jean Lushin, Center Township trustee and Goodfellows volunteer director, also asked applicants not to bring their children to the sign-ups.

Lushin said the program is also in need of volunteers to help with sign-ups and shopping for this year’s gift-giving endeavor.

Anyone interested in volunteering for the sign-up process can attend an orientation program one hour before the sign-ups.

The volunteers then help recipients redeem vouchers for children’s clothing at Meijer from 6 to 9 p.m. Dec. 12-16.

Last year, Goodfellows spent $136,472 on clothing for 2,317 children. The average value redeemed per family was $136.

• Mike Fletcher is the Kokomo Tribune crime reporter. He can be reached at 765-454-8565 or mike.fletcher@kokomotribune.com.

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