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Old Newsboys Collecting Donations in Fenton for Christmas Box Program

They will be near Silver Lake Road/Silver Parkway and Shiawassee Avenue/Leroy Street Friday.

The Old Newsboys will be collecting donations in Fenton on Friday, at the intersections of Leroy Street and West Shiawassee Avenue and Silver Lake Road at Silver Parkway.

Proceeds will buy toys and other Christmas gifts for underprivileged children, said Fenton Chief of Police Rick Aro, who is a volunteer for the Old Newsboys. Volunteers will collect donations in exchange for papers.

The Old Newsboys provided Christmas gifts to 5,486 children in 2011, their website said. Executive Director Chris Hamilton said they are on pace to help approximately the same number this year. Old Newsboys of Flint has a goal of raising $400,000 this year for its programs.

"There is as much need as there's ever been," he said.

A large portion of the funding comes from the paper sales, or the Sponsor a Child program. People can sponsor a child by calling Old Newsboys at 810- 744-1840 or by going online to sign up to donate $20 to help one child.

The $20 helps provide a child with a Christmas box, containing a sweatshirt and sweatpants, two pairs of underwear, two pairs of socks, a stocking cap, gloves, toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, and an age appropriate toy for newborn to high school age, Hamilton said.

The Old Newsboys have been sponsoring the event since 1924 and have helped over 775,000 children to date, Hamilton said. Paper sales take place throughout Genesee County.

Old Newsboys also has a shoe and coat program at every elementary school in Genesee County, he said. They provide emergency boxes to families that have lost their homes due to fires and other reasons.

Fenton City Council discussed and approved the request for the paper sale on Nov. 26, although members expressed concern over the safety of volunteers collecting donations at Silver Lake Road and Silver Parkway.

Aro said Old Newsboys volunteers will collect donations east of the intersection at Silver Lake Road and Silver Parkway. If safety is a problem due to traffic, he said they will move to an alternate location.

Mayor Pro Tem Cheryl King said she supports many charitable causes but doesn’t support donations being collected in the streets, because of safety reasons.

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