Chatham Goodfellows clarify involvement with “The Gift’

The Chatham Goodfellows organization is clarifying its participation in an upcoming toy and food drive.

Volunteers from The Gift CK will take to the streets on Saturday to collect donations from people’s doorsteps in Chatham-Kent.

This marks The Gift’s third year in a row. During the 2021 holiday season, organizers say $1.5 million to $2 million worth of items were collected, benefitting 80 to 100 local groups.

However, Chatham Goodfellows posted a message on its Facebook page on Thursday to “clarify some of the concerns raised by the public”.

“We have nothing to do with gifts. Chatham Goodfellows is running our own fundraising drive, as we have for the past 68 years,” the statement read. “If you would like to support our annual No Kids Without Christmas campaign, please Donate directly to us.

Chatham Goodfellows will be hosting the Porchlight Campaign on November 28th. Residents are encouraged to donate food, toys or cash by turning on their porch lights. The organization’s newspaper street sale will be held on December 9-10.

In response to Goodfellows’ statement, The Gift spokesperson Brent Wilken said this year’s The Gift series is “open to all, as always.”

“These collections belong to the community,” Wilken said in an emailed statement, “and 80-100 organizations received last year, and the 1,000 most needy don’t usually get it. There are various systems to Facilitate this new approach. It’s mostly about working with every organization and individual that comes to your door and helping them choose what they decide to take away from their collection.”

Additionally, comments were posted on Gifts Facebook Page Regarding the whereabouts of donations, “information will be released based on what is collected and how much agency help is needed. Stay tuned.”

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