Since 1957, the Thursday before Thanksgiving in St. Louis has meant a group of volunteers stand on street corners in the early morning to sell newspapers for a good cause. “Old Newsboys Day” first raised $34,413, Janice Denham reported for the Post-Dispatch’s Suburban Journals. “In exchange for a newspaper written by kids about Old Newsboys charities, they will accept whatever generous donation a person shares to help children whose basic needs are not being met,” she wrote.
Always sponsored by a local newspaper, the campaign has received donations adding up to millions of dollars which help agencies that serve children. Every cent collected goes into a special fund to be distributed to children’s charities. As needs have grown over time, so Old Newsboys has become an effort on the year-round calendar.
2015 is the second year the Post-Dispatch has led the campaign, according to Old Newsboys’ about page. It was started by the publisher of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, which stopped publishing in 1986.
Duncan Bauman of the Globe-Democrat started Old Newsboys Day in 1957. This year’s campaign date of Thursday, November 19, echoes the dream of his commitment. To him, it was not just an event. It was a catalyst for community involvement, where individuals from all walks of life — Rotarians, businesses, organizations, high school students, families, friends — could join together for a common goal: to sell a special edition of the newspaper and raise much-needed funds for multiple charities that serve Metro St. Louis’ children.