Chatham Goodfellows in ‘dire’ need of temporary new space

Toy donations collected for the Chatham Goodfellows 2018 No Child Without a Christmas campaign (Photo by Allanah Wills)

The Chatham Goodfellows are putting out an urgent call for help finding an area they can use during their 2019 holiday toy and food drive.

Every year, the Goodfellows use a vacant space to organize their “No Child Without a Christmas” campaign. For the last two years, they were at the former Fabricland on St. Clair Street in Chatham. However, according to Tim Haskell, president of Chatham Goodfellows, the storefront has a new tenant that will be taking over, leaving the Goodfellow searching for a temporary new home.

Haskell said they are getting down to crunch time, looking for a place they can use from October to December. During that time, they will be storing toy donations and then packing and preparing them for delivery to families in need across Chatham.

Haskell said the group would require somewhere located in Chatham with substantial space and preferably an open floor plan. He added that it would also be beneficial if there was a spot to unload a truck. Washrooms would be an added bonus but Haskell said they aren’t a mandatory requirement.

So far he said he’s been stuck on finding something.

“It’s pretty hard because were asking for something that’s around 6,000 to 10,000 square feet,” said Haskell. “We have about 700 families that we help pack toys for. We need the space for actually doing the packing as well as doing the storing.”

Haskell explained that usage of the space would be considered a donation to the Goodfellows and the money that they save on rent costs goes towards helping fund the toy and food drive.

“We try to look for someone who will donate the building and we can give them a charitable donation receipt to help them with the tax implications for letting us use the building,” he said. “The donation helps us save money so we can put it elsewhere in our program.”

Anyone who would like to get in touch with Haskell can do so by calling him at 519-401-9115.

“Generally Chatham is pretty good at stepping up,” he said. “Every year that’s gone by, people seem to step up and donate money and stuff. So I’m praying for a building.”