Goodfellows: Mom wants son to keep believing in Christmas magic

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Monique wants to keep Christmas alive for her 8-year-old son this year.

“He watches Miracle on 34th Street and says, ‘See, Santa’s real! Santa’s real!’ ” she said. “I worry about spoiling the magic of Christmas if there’s nothing under the tree that morning.

“My little boy asks for things. I told him there are so many kids in the world, and Santa can’t afford it all. He just wants an Adidas soccer ball but that one ball is $22. I told him Santa will see what he can do.

“I’m going to try my best to find a knockoff. That’s his Christmas wish.”

The 34-year-old mother of four — ages 15, 12, 10 and 8 — lives with her brother. She has no car. And she gets by on government assistance and child support, she said. That’s why she applied for the Goodfellow Fund this year — to give her children a holiday to look forward to.

The fund can’t provide the soccer ball, but Monique received four $50 J.C. Penney gift cards and went shopping on Black Friday to take advantage of the lower prices. She bought a pair of boots for her oldest daughter, tennis shoes for her middle two, and an outfit for her youngest boy. And she had enough left over to get them all a T-shirt, she said. She said she wrapped it all up for them to open on Christmas morning.

“I’m so thankful the Goodfellow Fund exists. I know there are people out there that are worse off than me. So I’m thankful they helped me this year,” she said.

“I just want my children to be happy. I don’t care about myself. I have everything I need. I have them. I just want them to have a smile on their face on Christmas morning.”

That’s exactly why the Star-Telegram organized a “Good Fellows’ Club” in 1912 — “to spread Christmas cheer among the little boys and girls,” according to editorials at the time.

The Star-Telegram wasn’t the first newspaper to launch a Christmas charity. The program was modeled on those at the Chicago Tribune and other big city newspapers. Star-Telegram readers enthusiastically supported the program, and it has operated continuously since then.

That first year, Star-Telegram readers donated $1,242.80, which provided 350 families with a turkey, bread, fruit and canned vegetables, a few toys, and a load of wood or coal. The program’s name has changed slightly, and the gifts have changed with the times. Last year, Goodfellows gave $50 J.C. Penney gift cards to 19,470 children, and the goal is the same this year.

The fund accepts contributions year-round, but the next two weeks are crucial. Consider a gift to Goodfellows to make Santa real for children like Monique’s.

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