Old Newsboys Day returning to area Friday to raise money for Salvation Army amid pandemic | Community Giving

WATERTOWN — Friday will mark the return of the Old Newsboys Day effort to raise funds for the Salvation Army, its second largest fundraising effort apart from the Red Kettle Campaign.

This would be the 74th annual Old Newsboys Day within the area.

Like in years’ previous, sellers will hit the streets early within the morning and proceed promoting newspapers to group members till about Four p.m., however this yr, due to the continued COVID-19 pandemic, issues will look a little bit totally different for Old Newsboys.

Volunteers will likely be anticipated to masks up whereas promoting their papers and cling to social distancing pointers every time doable. Also new this yr, in cooperation with the Community Action Planning Council, individuals have been ready to enroll online to obtain toys for their kids fairly than having to enroll in particular person on the Salvation Army.


Old Newsboys day had its inaugural fundraiser for the Salvation Army’s Christmas donation in 1947. Volunteers have been made up of former newsboys, businessmen and different males who competed to see how many gross sales they may make for the day. Watertown Daily Times

“We don’t need to cease Old Newsboys as a result of that’s a practice that only a few communities have,” mentioned Maj. Karen D. Smullen, of the Salvation Army. “I’ve been in 10 totally different Salvation Armies over my years and that is my first place the place they’ve this program.”

The Old Newsboys effort is made up of two aspects, road sellers — individuals going out to totally different places to promote the papers — and staff from varied taking part places going round and promoting the papers to different staff of their buildings.

David L. Bonney, volunteer coordinator for the drive and former circulation director for the Times, has been concerned with Old Newsboys Day for greater than 40 years.

Last yr, he ordered 4,600 papers, which included 3,000 to be offered by road sellers.

This yr, Mr. Bonney mentioned he ordered 900 for road sellers and 781 for the industries concerned for a complete of 1,681 papers. While the variety of road sellers has gone from 21 final yr to 10 this yr, and the variety of native industries permitting gross sales has additionally taken a plunge, the fundraising purpose for Old Newsboys has been set at $19,000.


Old Newsboys Day in 1974 raised an all-time report of $3,229.94 on the 28th annual sale to profit the Salvation Army Christmas Fund. Watertown Daily Times

“The downside is the necessity is even higher than it has been in previous years — there’s the next variety of individuals which might be out of labor,” Mr. Bonney mentioned.

The Johnson Newspaper Corporation has been concerned with this fundraiser since 1946. Sponsored by the Times, individuals promote donated copies of the newspaper for costs starting from the duvet worth of $2 to a whole bunch of {dollars}, with proceeds benefitting the native Salvation Army.

The money raised annually goes towards serving to to present needy households with meals, toys and clothes at Christmas, together with supporting the group’s packages and providers all year long.

According to Maj. Smullen, moreover the Christmas bell ringers with the massive crimson kettles, Old Newsboys is without doubt one of the group’s largest fundraisers when it comes to money raised in a single day.

Street sellers will likely be posted at places, such because the Route 3 Walmart and The General Store on Bradley Street, with others promoting remotely to clients and suppliers. The Watertown City School District has been concerned with this system annually and can proceed this yr together with others like Carthage Savings and Sam’s Club.


Even Santa helped take part in Old Newsboys Day in 1848, the primary anniversary of the occasion to raise money for the Salvation Army for its Christmas Cheer Drive. The Watertown Daily Times introduced that gross sales that yr helped raise $43 greater than the yr earlier than, with a complete of $981.85. Watertown Daily Times

“We would hope that everybody would dig a little bit deeper this yr,” Mr. Bonney mentioned, including that if an individual doesn’t see a road vendor, or the papers aren’t out there on the companies usually concerned in this system, persons are welcome to ship a test to the Salvation Army, 723 State St. On the memo line, mark “Old Newsboys Sale,” Mr. Bonney mentioned.

“That method we might hope to make up for a minimum of a few of this,” he added.

According to Maj. Smullen, want is up 50% this yr, and kettle funds are down 35% proper now.

“We can’t have as many individuals out promoting the paper and a few firms can’t do what they did each different yr, however we don’t need to not do it,” Maj. Smullen mentioned of the annual fundraiser. “Because no matter we raise, it’s nonetheless greater than zero.”


One of the 50 volunteers for Old Newsboys Day in 1952 sells a newspaper to a passing motorist. Watertown Daily Times

When all is alleged and finished, Maj. Smullen mentioned after the tip of December, the Salvation Army will want to re-evaluate what to do after.

Luckily, the group has some money from town to levy towards meals, which can assist, Maj. Smullen mentioned, as a result of the Salvation Army’s soup kitchen and meals pantry run year-round, not simply at Christmas.

“In the times when the boys did promote the newspaper, it was how they made a residing,” Maj. Smullen mentioned. “So right now, fortunately, kids don’t have to work to present for their residence or their household, however this system helps that very same household that may have been on the market with their little one working.”

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