Detroit Goodfellows continue to raise money for children more than 100 years after tradition began

Detroit Goodfellows puts together Christmas gift boxes for children

DETROIT – What started 100 years ago with selling newspapers on the streets of Detroit to raise money to buy packages for children so they could wake up with a gift on Christmas is a tradition that’s still alive.

The Goodfellows are hard to miss. They wear red and have their new bags, some covered in pins. Frank Brady is the great-nephew of the founder of Goodfellows.

“I’ve got two bags that are full of these because it goes all the way back to when I joined the organization back in 1974,” Brady said.

Brady may have joined the organization in 74, but raising money for the cause is in his DNA.

“To take care of the children at Christmas time. That’s the important thing. That’s what my great uncle started with his group of friends back in 1914,” Brady said.

Brady and about 30 other Detroit Goodfellows were selling their newsletter at Campus Martius. They are hoping to raise $1.2 million through the holiday season through sales and donations.

“We estimate that each boxy is about $50,” Goodfellows President Beth Conley said. “So, if you wanted to give $50, you know you’d be giving one gift to a child this holiday season.”

Conley said that $50 goes a long way. They offer practical gifts like hats, gloves, socks and underwear. Then they add fun things like dolls, books, games and toys.

Brady said he’s honored to continue the tradition his great uncle, James Brady started.

“I have a grandson named James Brady,” Brady said. “So I think the Goodfellows are good for another 100 years.”

Sales Day is just a one-day event, however, you can still donate to the Detroit Goodfellows on their website.

Click here to learn more about Goodfellows or make a donation.

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You can watch Kim on the morning newscast weekdays from 4:30 to 7 a.m., and frequently doing reports on the 5 and 6 p.m. newscasts.