Community comes together for Goodfellow Fund

Posted Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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A gift to Goodfellows

It’s the 101st anniversary of the Goodfellow Fund, the Star-Telegram’s holiday program that provides practical gifts for school children. Join this tradition by sending a contribution to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Or go online to goodfellowfund.org and make a secure credit card donation. We’ll acknowledge your gift in the newspaper unless you request anonymity.

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The Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund may be down in donations this year, but the Tarrant County community keeps finding ways to give.

Nine-year-old Adam LaSalle and his 10-year-old friend Elliott Holloway got into the true spirit of Christmas a little early this year. The two fourth-graders gathered erasers, candy and jewelry and sold them to their classmates at the Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center in Fort Worth. Then the boys counted up their earnings and wrote a $10 check to the Goodfellow Fund.

“There are people who aren’t so lucky and they need help,” Elliot said. “So I learned that it’s good to give instead of receive. Giving made me feel really good. Like really good.”

The boys said they were looking for a charity to give their money to when Adam’s grandmother suggested the Goodfellow Fund. And she may have started something. Adam said the two are planning to give more of their hard-earned money to the fund.

“With Goodfellows, there are people out there who can’t get stuff for the holidays, so it made me want to help with that.” Adam said. “There are people out there who really need it, and I want them to have a good Christmas. It makes me feel better to give it to others.”

It’s a message others throughout the Metroplex are sending as well: Give what you have.

Members of the Fort Worth Antique Doll Club pulled their money together and gave $300 to the Goodfellow Fund this year — something they’ve been doing for about 30 years.

Kathy Monier, regional director of United Federation of Doll Clubs, which includes the Fort Worth club, said it’s important to the 15 members to give back to their community.

“We’re not a rich club,” she said. “So usually we pass the hat in October, collect what we have, and donate it. Every Christmas I watch them open up their hearts and their wallets.”

And Richard Shepherd, captain of Tanglewood Citizens on Patrol in Fort Worth, said his group has given about $500 to the Goodfellow Fund over the past five years.

“The Goodfellow Fund is a very wonderful organization because it does nice things for folks who need a little help,” he said. “Donating is a good way to give back to the public and help people in the community who are not as privileged as some of us are.”

As of Friday, the total number of Goodfellow Fund donations was down about 9 percent from last year, said Richard Greene, executive director of the Star-Telegram charity. Last year, donations were 13 percent below the goal, providing gifts for 19,470 children.

On Friday, Greene said the fund had received 17 checks. Three days before Christmas last year, the fund had received 147 checks.

“In all likelihood, we may land very close to the total received last year and a little short of our $1 million goal,” Greene said.

But Greene said it’s important to remember that the charity accepts donations all year long.

“We have distributed gift cards and are still counting on late donations to offset the expense,” Greene said late last week. “I have all the confidence that will happen.”

And with help from little Santas like Adam and Elliott, he just might be right about that.

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