By Mike Fletcher Kokomo Tribune
---- — Early registration for Goodfellows is set for next week at the Center Township Trustee Office.
Instead of registering on North Washington Street next to Marsh as it has been in past years, this year’s registration was moved to Center Township Trustee office, located 213 E. Jefferson St., said Jean Lushin, Goodfellows director.
People wishing to sign up at the early bird registration can do so from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the East Jefferson Street address. Regular registration is expected to be after Thanksgiving. Dates will be released when they become available.
Made up of volunteers, Goodfellows spends more than $100,000 annually on clothing for needy children, with the majority of donations coming from WWKI’s We Care program and individual donations.
The fundraiser’s goal is to provide parents with a voucher to buy needed clothes for the kids so they can buy toys with what money they do have, said Lushin.
Started in 1911 by Kokomo Tribune employees, the fundraiser has grown into a non-profit organization raising thousands of dollars each year for the needy.
For people wishing to volunteer for the sign-up process, there is an orientation program one hour prior to sign-ups. While most of the process remains the same as last year, it’s always good to be prepared, Lushin said.
After the registration process, the organization hits the aisles of Meijer to help parents shop for their kids in December.
Applicants must bring the following to registration for Goodfellows benefits:
• Picture identification for all adult members of the household that indicates applicant is a resident of Howard County. An Indiana driver’s license or ID card will be accepted. A First City Rider card will not be accepted.
• Social Security numbers for all members of the household. This must be in the form of either Social Security cards or printouts from the Social Security Office or FSSA.
• Birth certificates or Medicaid cards for all children between the ages of newborn and 15. Children reaching age 16 prior to Dec. 31, 2011, will not be eligible for assistance. Pregnancies will require medical proof of due date. Families wishing to shop for “adult sizes” for eligible children must make this known at the time they file their Goodfellows applications.
Applicants must have legal and physical custody of all children for which Goodfellows assistance is being sought.
Applicant must provide income verification for all members of the household. The income for determining eligibility is based upon 150 percent of the federal poverty level. Households exceeding this amount will not be eligible.
Applicants must provide receipts for how their income was expended during the previous 30-day period.
Organizers ask that you do not bring children with you.
You can help The Kokomo Tribune is accepting donations for its Goodfellows program, which provides clothes to needy children at Christmas. Donations can be dropped off at the downtown office or mailed to Goodfellows, Kokomo Tribune, P.O. Box 9014, Kokomo, IN 46904-9014. Write "Goodfellows" on the envelope to ensure donations are directed to the organization. Donations also may be made in memory of or in honor of someone. The names of those who have donated will be printed in the Tribune. For more information about Goodfellows, contact Jean Lushin or Gary Guest at 765-452-8259.