It is customary during the Thanksgiving season for individuals to express their gratitude for the blessings (great and small) bestowed upon them. For those in need, the slightest bit of assistance means more than many of us can imagine and is sincerely appreciated by those who receive it.Thousands of Tarrant County residents have come to include in their expressions of gratitude a heartfelt thanks for a faithful old friend -- the Star-Telegram Goodfellow Fund, which has been around for 100 years providing holiday gifts for less-fortunate children in our community.This year, 20,000 youngsters in about 7,000 needy families will benefit from the generosity of our readers, who have never failed in meeting this annual challenge.Although the Goodfellow Fund was founded and is administered by this newspaper, with the help of Catholic Charities, the real strength of the program is the overwhelming community spirit that unites people of all walks of life in contributing to the effort: corporate donors that make four- and five-figure contributions; schoolchildren who collect pennies for the cause; individuals who give in memory of deceased loved ones; and those who donate in lieu of sending Christmas cards."We now have fourth-generation donors, and they, like their parents, believe in the mission of the Goodfellow Fund," said Richard Greene, executive director of the annual drive.Because the need is so great this year, the maximum number of applications was received a week earlier than expected, meaning many families that applied and would qualify for the $50-per-child gift card from J.C. Penney Co. will not be served.Greene noted: "It is personally rewarding to hear the 'thank you' and see the joy and appreciation -- in some cases, tears -- on the face of the recipient as they receive their gift card. In many, many instances, this is the only holiday gift the family can provide for their children. I wish every donor could experience it."To serve those 20,000 children, the fund needs to raise $1 million. It is a large goal, but it is one that we're sure the good people of North Texas will help Goodfellows reach.
How to donate
Go to the secure website and use a credit card:
Send a check to Goodfellow Fund, P.O. Box 1870,
Fort Worth, TX 76101
(Contributors' names will be published unless anonymity is requested.)