Old Newboys hoping to replicate last year’s success with paper sale

GENESEE COUNTY — The Old Newsboys of Flint’s annual paper sale returns Friday, Dec. 8, to ensure no child in Genesee County is forgotten this Christmas. Last year, the proceeds used from the one-day event served more than 6,000 kids in the county.

The sale has been complicated in the past two years due to increased restrictions on charitable solicitations in the roadways. Volunteers in 2016 were able to circumvent some the challenges by placing volunteers in private business drives.

Lisa Kirk, director of programs and volunteers for the Old Newsboys, said the organization was able to obtain permits this year for several intersections in Flint Township, Fenton, Flushing, the City of Flint and Linden. Kirk said a few of the permit applications are still pending in Flint Township, where a solicitation ordinance was passed in 2015.

A full list of volunteer locations has yet to be released, but spots already approved include the 103.9 FOX building, Z’s Diamond and Gemstone Center on Linden Road, and the intersections of Miller and Dye and Corunna and Grand Blanc. Kirk said each municipality has its own set of rules to abide by, such as an 18 and over age limit on volunteers, safety vest requirements and time windows.

All of the money gathered during the one-day paper sale goes to fund three different programs – the Christmas Box program, the Shoe and Coat program and the Emergency Box program.

It is $20 to sponsor a child enrolled in the Christmas Box program, which promises each will receive a “sweat suit, socks and underclothes, a hat and pair of warm gloves, dental hygiene products and a new age-appropriate gift.” Signup this year runs through December 22.

To enroll in the Christmas Box program, a parent or legal guardian must bring to the Old Newsboys office a driver’s license or identification card; a social security card; the birth certificates or proof of legal custody for each enrolled child; and either a current Michigan Medicaid Card, 2016 tax records or proof of acceptance into the Federal Lunch Program demonstrating low-income status.

Similarly, the Emergency Box program hands out boxes containing new items to families who suffered through life-altering events such as fires. The Red Cross works with the Old Newsboys to distribute the products.

The Old Newboys’ Shoe and Coat program works to bring new coats and footwear to children from low-income families. New Balance and Complete Runner both struck a deal with the organization to provide new, quality shoes at a discounted price. Kirk said the organization has mainly discontinued gently-used items, due to the absence of facilities for cleaning and washing.

Kirk said she is still calling for volunteers to sign-up, preferably before the first of December. For more information on programs and sponsorship, visit onbflint.org or call the office at 810.744.1840.

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