Good­fel­lows in good shape

Porch­light fundraiser col­lects more than $44,500

The Chatham Daily News - - NEWS - ELLWOOD SHREVE [email protected]­media.com @Chatham­news

The Chatham Good­fel­lows an­nual No Child With­out A Christ­mas cam­paign will wrap up in less than two weeks, and the group’s pres­i­dent is feel­ing con­fi­dent it will be suc­cess­ful.

“Ev­ery­thing’s fall­ing into place. It’s go­ing to be an­other good year, I think, for the Chatham Good­fel­lows,” said Tim Haskell, who is serv­ing his sec­ond term as pres­i­dent of the vol­un­teer or­ga­ni­za­tion.

A team of more than 550 vol­un­teers fanned out across area streets Mon­day night for the 64th an­nual Porch­light cam­paign that col­lected more than $44,500 in cash, along with enough food to fill 90 ba­nana boxes and enough toys to fill 70 ba­nana boxes.

Not­ing the Porch­light event raised $3,000 more than last year, Haskell said, “It’s re­ally nice to see.

“Cash is very im­por­tant, be­cause we spend prob­a­bly around $170,000-plus a year on buy­ing food and toys,” he added.

Haskell said the Good­fel­lows have ex­panded their boot and shoe pro­gram to in­clude two gift cer­tifi­cates for each child in a par­tic­i­pat­ing fam­ily to pur­chase boots and/ or shoes. He said this is thanks to Gi­ant Tiger, which is col­lect­ing money at the Chatham store for the pro­gram, as well as the Chatham-Kent chap­ter of the 100 Women Who Care group, which has do­nated $12,500 to the pro­gram.

So far, just un­der 1,400 fam­i­lies are reg­is­tered to re­ceive food and toys, but Haskell ex­pects that will climb to around the 1,440 fam­i­lies served in last year’s cam­paign.

The Good­fel­lows will be­gin pack­ing toys from Dec. 10 to Dec. 13 at 463 St. Clair St. in Chatham from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. each night. Haskell said any­one who wants to help can sim­ply show up and take part. He said the goal is to pack 150 to 200 boxes of toys each night.

Vol­un­teers will also be needed for the an­nual Street Sales of the Good fel­lows news­pa­per, which take place Fri­day, Dec. 14, and Satur­day, Dec. 15, around Chatham. Haskell said any­one in­ter­ested in vol­un­teer­ing can call the Good­fel­lows of­fice at 519-354-1146 Mon­day through Fri­day un­til 3 p.m.

The cam­paign wraps up on Dec. 18, when hun­dreds of food boxes – con­tain­ing a full tur­key din­ner for fam­i­lies and ham din­ners for sin­gles and cou­ples – will be packed up and de­liv­ered.

The pack­ing be­gins at 8 a.m. at the Spirit and Life Cen­tre – the for­mer St. Joseph’s Au­di­to­rium – and de­liv­er­ies be­gin around 11:30 a.m.

Haskell has been a long­time sup­porter of Good­fel­lows, as he con­tin­ues to want to give back be­cause his fam­ily ben­e­fited from the pro­gram af­ter los­ing his father in a car crash.

He is ded­i­cat­ing this year’s cam­paign to his in­fant grand­daugh­ter Ky leigh Anne Haskell Her re we ye rs, who passed away on Oct. 15, just four days af­ter she was born.

“This is help­ing us get through it … be­ing busy with the cam­paign,” Haskell said.

It’s go­ing to be an­other good year, I think, for the Chatham Good­fel­lows.”

Tim Haskell

HAND­OUT/CHATHAM DAILY NEWS

An­gela Scott and her daugh­ter Ciara were among the more than 550 vol­un­teers who took part in the 64th an­nual Porch­light cam­paign Mon­day that raised over $44,500 for the Chatham Good­fel­lows an­nual No Child With­out A Christ­mas cam­paign.

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