DETROIT - The mission of the Detroit Goodfellows is to make sure no children in the city go without Christmas, and that effort kicked off Monday.
The Goodfellows sit in the freezing cold, selling papers and collecting donations because they want to give or give back.
"I do it because when my kids were 7 or 8, they got a Goodfellow box," Goodfellow David Odom said.
That was more than 20 years ago, but Odom said he remembers the joy the gift packets brought to his children.
"That was a Christmas where I was unemployed and couldn't afford a candy cane," Odom said.
While some Goodfellows have been doing this for more than 60 years, others are just getting their first start, such as Natalie Stanczak.
Stanczak is a seventh-grade student who joined her grandfather and 90-year-old great-grandfather on Monday. Her grandparents let her miss a little bit of school to help out with the cause.
"It's been a tradition that everyone has carried on -- my mom, my grandparents, everybody ever since 1914," Stanczak said.
The papers they sell are a special Goodfellow edition of the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press. With the donations collected, Detroit Goodfellows will distribute 33,000 gift packages to needy Detroit-area children.
"Clothing, toys, books, dental supplies, candy, school supplies -- they're going to get something for Christmas and without the Goodfellows, they wouldn't have anything," Local 4 Meteorologist Paul Gross said.
Copyright 2018 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit - All rights reserved.