A couple of months ago, 12-year-old Emily sent a letter to the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund.
She spoke of her family’s financial struggles and expressed thanks that the charity helped her and her brothers have a nice Christmas last year.
“When it was Christmas Day I was so happy, I cried of happiness,” she wrote. “My family and I really appreciate you for doing this.”
The Fort Worth girl said her mom works at Home Depot, cleaning the restrooms and offices. And she always saves what she can for her children, Emily said in a phone interview.
Emily said she and her little brothers, ages 7 and 5, used their J.C. Penney gift cards last year to buy sweaters, long-sleeved T-shirts and pants. And that’s what they need this year, too, she said.
“It was nice to have because they were really pretty and they helped us keep warm,” she said.
Richard Greene, executive director of the fund, said children occasionally write to ask for help on behalf of parents who might be sick or for younger brothers and sisters.
“It’s really hard to see how many families are in need every year,” he said, “but it’s also really neat to see how excited and appreciative these families are just to get a small gift card.”
The Star-Telegram started a Goodfellow Fund holiday drive back in 1912 and has continued every year since. This year, 19,500 kids received $50 J.C. Penney gift cards that can be redeemed for clothes and shoes.
The fund is counting on the community to come through again with contributions to pay for those gifts.