DETROIT (WWJ) – The Old Newsboys’ Goodfellow Fund of Detroit is hoping to raise $1.2 million this year through its “No Kiddie Without a Christmas” campaign, which kicked off Friday.

The group’s president, Ken Neal, told WWJ’s Mike Campbell all funds raised through the campaign will be money well spent

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“We package 36,000 gifts for needy children of Detroit. In those packages, we put in warm clothes, games, books, candy, things like that,” said Neal.

The gifts also get distributed to children in Hamtramck, Highland Park, Harper Woods and River Rouge.

Detroit Mayor Dave Bing said the campaign, which began almost 100 years ago, is just as important today as its ever been.

“If we don’t really wrap our arms around these kids and let them know that we love them, that we’re going to support them, we will lose them, and we surely can’t afford to do that,” said Bing.

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The Goodfellows will be out selling newspapers on the streets starting in early November.

The “No Kiddie Without a Christmas” campaign kicked off Friday at the group’s annual Goodfellows Tribute Breakfast which honors exceptional Michigan public figures. This year, the group honored real estate developer and philanthropist A. Alfred Taubman with the Edward H. McNamara Goodfellow of the Year Award.

“I have an opportunity to help and that’s why I continue to do it,” said Taubman.

The group said Taubman received the distinguished award because of his continuous support of civic, cultural and educational initiatives to aid and strengthen Detroit and its people.

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For more information on how you can contribute toward the “No Kiddie Without a Christmas” campaign, visit www.detroitgoodfellows.org.