Old Newsboys: Doing good in Toledo for 83 years - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Old Newsboys: Doing good in Toledo for 83 years

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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Toledo residents should be familiar with the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association selling newspapers in parking lots and shopping centers.

They've been doing it one day every December for the last 83 years. It's an organization with a rich history and simple purpose.

"I know firsthand about the good works the Old Newsboys do," said Toledo City Councilman Michael Craig.

The paper sale is personal for Craig, who has been involved with the Old Newsboys and selling papers for 25 years. But it's what happened when he was a young boy that still makes him choke up when he talks about the organization.

"Gifts and food – they may seem like small things," he said. "Unless you're not use to having those types of things."

Each year, hundreds of volunteers take to street corners and shopping centers in Toledo to raise money that will be used all year to provide coats, shoes, meals and holiday baskets for kids who would otherwise go without.

"It gives people some sense of dignity, where they're not getting something that's been worn or used," said Tracey Edwards, paper sale chair for the organization.

"The people that we serve, they do deserve to be taken care of," added Emmett Beavers, Jr., who has been selling papers for 55 years.

Inside the Jefferson Center basement in downtown Toledo, there is a small room full of the organization's history. As old as the Old Newsboys himself, 83-year-old Richard Buchholz has been working hard to preserve this Toledo tradition.

There are pictures, papers, scrapbooks and meeting minutes that date all the way back to the beginning, in 1929.

Buchholz was president of the Old Newsboys Goodfellow Association in 1982. Now he takes his jobs as official historian very seriously. He's even writing a book that covers 80 years of this 100 percent volunteer organization's history.

"Most people don't believe I'm as old as I am, because I'm so darn happy. That's what keeps me looking young, ‘cause I'm really happy that I've got a chance to do this," he said. "One of the things why we get so much money is because we give it all away."

Another secret to a good paper sale?

"When the weather is worse, the donations go up," said Rob Wiercinski.

"It's not like we're hitting them three, four, five times a year," added Jake Renz, a Newsboy. "They know one time a year, the Newsboys are out there in front of them with those red jugs and those guys selling the papers."

The headline: $8.6 million raised in the last 83 years, and every dollar of it has stayed right here in the Toledo community. Reading between the lines, you see the people like Councilman Craig, whose lives are forever changed by the good work of the Newsboys. Those people want to pay it forward.

"Getting involved in the Old Newsboys, you know, it's a debt of gratitude," Craig said.

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