The Canton Corner

Bringing Joy to Canton Families: The Mission of the Canton Goodfellows

Bringing Joy to Canton Families: The Mission of the Canton Goodfellows

by | Nov 22, 2023

Canton Goodfellows remain committed to their goal of ensuring no Canton child goes without presents or food during the holiday season – no matter the circumstances. Through dedication to their motto “No Child Without a Christmas,” they have put together a comprehensive program that provides toys and gifts, boxes of food, and gift cards for additional purchases for those in need. President Natalie Theisen has provided insight into this heartwarming initiative.

Canton Goodfellows is a non-profit organization with an admirable mission: to ensure no Canton child, 18 years or younger, is without presents and food during the holiday season. Their inspiring motto “No Child Without a Christmas” has driven them to serve as many families as possible every year by providing toys and gifts, boxes of food, and gift cards for additional purchases. The volunteers put in hard work to bring joy to Canton’s families, proud to imagine the smiling faces of children when they open their gifts. President Natalie Theisen has shared more insight about the success of this campaign.

Applying for No Child Without a Christmas

Canton Goodfellows is proud to offer the No Child Without a Christmas application process each year. Mid-September marks the start of the application period, providing parents with two options: they can either pick up an application packet at the Canton Public Library or the Canton Clerk’s Office in the administration building or print out an application packet from the Canton Goodfellows’ website. To qualify for the program, families must provide documents proving that they live in Canton, their children live with them, and their family meets the Goodfellows’ guidelines for a family of their size. All applications must be postmarked by the mid-October deadline.

Once the maximum capacity is reached, families will be sent either an approved or denied postcard. All approved applicants can pick up their packages on a set date in early December at the Canton Administration Building.

Sources of Gifts

The Canton Goodfellows have a variety of sources for the children’s gifts, food boxes, and gift cards. Through their Sponsor-a-Child program, sponsors are assigned a child or group of children in mid-October. They will receive more information about the child as well as gift guidelines. Additionally, an annual toy drive is held at the Summit on the Park, where patrons can pick up tags with a gift note on them and purchase the item to donate. If needed, the Goodfellows team of shoppers will also purchase what is required.

The Goodfellows also hold an annual nonperishable food drive at Holiday Market in November, where customers can purchase food items from a supplies list and donate them. These boxed items are then picked up by families in need. Furthermore, the organization purchases food shopping gift cards for families, with donations from individual Canton community members, as well as grants, earmarked for these cards being the largest expense each year. Canton is a generous and supportive community.

History of Canton Goodfellows

The Canton Goodfellows has a proud and inspiring history spanning more than 70 years. It was started by Edward Hauk and Robert Waldecker in the 1940s and has since been providing invaluable help and support to the community. The organization is now well-known for its annual paper sale, which serves as the main source of funds, thanks to Nancy Spencer and Ruth Wiles who began volunteering in the mid-1980s and have been instrumental in organizing it.

Most recently, in 2018, Natalie was elected president and has since been an exemplary leader of the organization, successfully transitioning the data input system to an online application process and laying the groundwork for the future transition of leadership in 2024.

Get Involved

The Canton Goodfellows provides numerous ways to get involved and make a difference in the community. Their Get Involved page outlines volunteer opportunities such as registering with the Canton Leisure Services Volunteer Coordinator, sponsoring a child’s assignments, volunteering during the Goodfellows’ work week in early December, and purchasing a toy or gift during the Summit Toy Drive. Additionally, individuals can support the Goodfellows’ mission by making a monetary donation to help pay for family food gift cards or becoming a Canton Goodfellows member. All of these ways to get involved are sure to have a positive impact on the community.

Join the Canton Goodfellows

The Canton Goodfellows organization is proud of its noble mission and is looking for more energetic young people to join it. With a small group of active members, the organization hopes to pass on the jobs they do to ensure its longevity. Being part of the Canton Goodfellows is highly rewarding as it supports children and their families. All the information you need about the Canton Goodfellows can be found on their website.

Canton Goodfellows’ No Child Without a Christmas program is dedicated to providing all the necessary food and presents so each child in Canton can truly have a joyful holiday. From their statement of mission to the organized application process, this non-profit organization brings people together to make sure no family goes without during the holiday season. By directly delivering joy to families that meet their qualifications, they leave a lasting impact that will spread its way through Canton’s community. This program continues in the spirit of giving that has made Redditors truly experience the power of paying it forward.

Learn More About Canton Goodfellows

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