GENESEE COUNTY – The Old Newsboys of Flint’s Paper Sale, a staple in the Genesee County area since 1924, is returning December 9 in spite of a new Michigan Attorney General opinion preventing charitable solicitation from vehicles in the roadways.
Chris Hamilton, executive director for The Old Newsboys of Flint, said the organization is going to find other means of collecting donations; the main idea being to redirect interested donors to private business drives so as not to impede traffic. Hamilton said he has already received letters from both the City of Flushing and City of Fenton noting any solicitation in the road is prohibited.
“It affects us a lot,” said Hamilton. “That is our lifeblood.”
The organization hit a milestone last year, exceeding 800,000 kids served in Genesee County since its inception. Jay Moldenhauer, a Flushing resident and Old Newsboys volunteer for six years, said the rights-of-way collections have been a tremendous success. The volunteers stationed across Genesee County work from morning-to-night and – depending on the street – could raise anywhere from $300 to $1,000.
“We have a lot of people stop and say, ‘I remember Old Newsboys helped me when I young,’” said Moldenhauer.
The paramount message of The Old Newsboys of Flint is to ensure no child in the county goes without a Christmas. 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 “sweatsuit, socks and underclothes, a hat and pair of warm gloves, dental hygiene products and a new age-appropriate gift.” Similarly, the Emergency Box Program hands out boxes containing new or slightly used items to families who suffered through a life-altering event, such as a fire. 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 struck a deal with the organization to provide new, quality shoes at a discounted price.
Hamilton said last year the Newsboys gave 6,436 kids, and he has faith this year will be another success.
“The most generous people in the world live in Genesee County,” said Hamilton.
For more information on programs and sponsorship, visit onbflint.org.