Since the 1940’s, the Canton Goodfellows have provided Christmas gifts to thousands of less fortunate children in Canton Township.
What We Do
Canton Goodfellows is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing Christmas gifts and clothing to children in Canton, Michigan at Christmas time. We also provide gift cards so that parents can purchase food for the holiday.
Thanks to the support from our community, countless people volunteer their time to collect donations, sponsor children, sort through gift bags, and distribute gifts to our families.
Here’s what one parent who received assistance for their child had to say:
We received so many gifts and treats from the Goodfellows this Christmas. Christmas morning was so happy here because of you.
I can’t thank you enough for what you did for us.
Over the years, we’ve helped Canton families with children enjoy Christmas. With your support, we can help even more!
How “No Child Without a Christmas” Works
Each year in September, applications are available to Canton families wanting to get assistance for their children at Christmas. Submitted forms are screened based on The Heating and Warmth Fund (THAW) family income guidelines, among other qualifications.
Children are sponsored by community members who purchase new clothing and toys for the child. Over the years, we’ve been fortunate to have many individuals and organizations sponsor several children.
Using money raised through fundraisers and donations, we purchase new clothing, toys, and food gift cards for the Christmas holiday.
In early December, our Work Week brings dozens of volunteers together to sort and prepare the clothing, toys, gifts, and food for pickup by our families.
Since gifts are left unwrapped (so that parents can see what was bought for their children), we provide gift wrap and tape.
Our 2017 Board members
- President: John Spencer
- Vice President: Kevin McCabe
- Treasurer: Alan Okon
- Secretary: Natalie Anderson-Theisen
- Director: Nila Patel
- Director: Gloria Cifaldi
- Director: Kelli Lauria
The Canton Goodfellows meetings are held in the Canton Municipal Building, 1105 Canton Canter Rd, at 7:00 PM in Room C (Lower Level).
You are more than welcome to join us, in order to find out more about our organization! We are always looking for new members who are willing to help in implementing new ideas.
- Thursday, February 2, 2017 (2016 Wrap Up Meeting)
- Thursday, March 2, 2017 (Annual Meeting, with voting for the Board)
- Thursday, April 6, 2017
- Thursday, May 4, 2017
- Thursday, June 1, 2017
- Thursday, July 6, 2017
- Thursday, August 3, 2017
- Thursday, September 7, 2017
- Thursday, October 5, 2017
- Thursday, November 2, 2017
For over 65 years, Canton Goodfellows has provided help and support for community members.
The group got its start in the 1940’s when Canton residents Edward Hauk and Robert Waldecker, who volunteered with Plymouth Goodfellows, decided to start Canton Goodfellows.
In the early years, the two men would go door-to-door, asking for donations for Canton residents in need.
A Canton Goodfellows paper was printed in 1954 and sold for donations. Money raised through the paper sales was used to support the Goodfellows goal of “No Child Without a Christmas.”
Today, many people in Canton know of the Goodfellows work through Nancy Spencer, who began volunteering with Canton Goodfellows in the mid-1980’s.
She and Ruth Wiles, who served as secretary, organized the annual paper sale which became Canton Goodfellows main source of money.
Families would receive food boxes and clothing vouchers they could use at the K-Mart store (now replaced by Kohl’s), located at Ford and Sheldon.
In the 1990’s Nancy became president of Canton Goodfellows, a position she held until she died in 2012. She reached out to many members of the community, businesses, and public schools as she recruited volunteers to help the program grow.
To help with gifts for the children, she started the adopt-a-child program, which is now our sponsor a child program.