While the Goodfellows primary mission is the purchase of merchandise and the distribution of holiday gift packages, several other programs have been developed to serve the children of our community. These programs enhance the quality of life of our area's young people in a variety of significant ways.
This exemplary program provides shoes for children who cannot afford proper footwear. These children are identified through the Attendance and Administrative Offices in the school districts with which we work. They are then presented with vouchers for a complimentary pair of shoes at any Detroit area Mr. Alan's store. Mr. Alan's fits the child with the right pair of shoes and then turns the costs over to the Goodfellows.
This program provides emergency dental care to kids who cannot afford it. Thanks to the efforts of students and faculty at the University of Detroit Mercy, this program is a great success. And thanks to the generosity of the Michigan Dental Association Foundation, the Goodfellows are also able to provide dental kits for each holiday gift package. These kits include a toothbrush, toothpaste and a bookmark about dental care. This year we will also provide floss and timers in some of the packages. The items are packaged in an attractive pouch that can be used as a pencil case. Thanks to Michigan Dental Association Foundation for donating the kits.
In the summer of 2015 we will commit over $35,000 in grants to summer camps for kids in Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park. The Campership Committee reviews proposals for various day and overnight camps in southeastern Michigan. The committee then makes a contribution to a specific camp so they can provide young people with an opportunity to experience the joys of nature. Some programs funded by the Goodfellows in the past include the Detroit Police Department's "Explorers," the Detroit Fire Department Camp and a summer computer program called the Community Technology Center.
The Detroit Goodfellows spend up to $5,000 each year for two students to attend the School of Journalism at Wayne State University in Detroit. The scholarships are named the Goodfellows Mike McCormick Scholarship in honor of the late Detroit News editor Mike McCormick who was a member and avid supporter of the Detroit Goodfellows. McCormick was also responsible for editing and coordinating the annual Goodfellows Sales Day newspaper.