Old Newsboys hitting the streets Friday and Saturday

By Tony Wittkowski | City Reporter | The Times Herald

Dozens of newsies will be hawking special editions of the Times Herald on Friday and Saturday, raising money to provide kids with boots, socks and underwear.

They’ll be throughout the Port Huron and Marysville area, from Tim Horton’s locations to Kroger and Gander Mountain.

While the Old Newsboys raise money year-round, they are most visible the first Friday and Saturday in December.

Ed Weichsler, Port Huron Old Newsboys president, said this is the group’s 87th year.

“Our goal this year is $72,500. We did not make that last year, and we fell a few thousand short,” Weichsler said. “We are hoping with the uptick in the economy, we can reach it this year.”

The money pays for vouchers worth $55 each; families use the vouchers to receive the essential clothing and footwear for their children.

The organization gave out 1,316 vouchers this year. Families apply for vouchers during the first week of September at the Department of Human Services.

The vouchers can be redeemed at the Walmart in Fort Gratiot.

“They take the voucher there and have the child with them, so there is no confusion over sizes,” Weichsler said. “For a lot of people this is their only means for Christmas. When they talk to you in this fashion with tears in their eyes, you cannot put a price on that.”

More than 75 volunteers will sell papers.

Weichsler said donations can be made at any time by sending checks to the Port Huron Old Newsboys, 911 Military St., Second Floor, Port Huron, MI 48060, or by visiting www.facebook.com/porthuronoldnewsboys.

“It’s not unusual for people to drop off significant checks and say they already get the paper at home,” Weichsler said. “We understand the need is greater than the goal we try to establish, but we try to be practical and try to meet that need. We never underestimate the generosity of this community.”

Contact Tony Wittkowski at (810) 956-8905 or twittkowsk@gannett.com. Follow him on Twitter @tonywittkowski.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Dec. 10, 2014)

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