Goodfellows begin sign-ups

Sign-ups are being held this week for the annual Goodfellows program. The program helps provide food and toys to Denison families in need during Christmas and is overseen by Denison Lions Club Charities, Inc.

Families wishing to apply for consideration in the program will need to come to the Lions Club Toy Shop at 1030 West Crawford in Denison from now through this Friday. Hours are 9 a.m. until noon and 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. They will need to bring a driver’s license or other photo identification, a Social Security card, a paycheck stub or any document showing income, and a rent receipt or anything showing their current address. Applicants must be Denison residents.

The Denison Goodfellows program was started by a group of downtown Denison merchants during the Depression in the 1930s. In 1952, the Denison Lions Club was asked to help administer the applications for the distribution of food to the city’s families in need at Christmas. A building at 1030 West Crawford was acquired and is used to this day for collection of food during Christmas and to make any needed repairs on donated toys. The Lions Club members volunteer their time and talents year-round to gather donated food and toys and will then deliver the food and toys to the famlies’ homes a few days before Christmas. In 2011, a total of 214 family applications were received and, after careful screening, 209 of those families were approved for assistance.

Donations of food items, grocery store cards, cash and toys are also being accepted. The toys are to be for children ages 12 and younger. Donations can be dropped off at the Toy Shop. For more information, call the Lions Club Toy Shop at 903-465-8103.