Goodfellows come through to give 19,500 children gifts

01/04/2014 4:07 PM

01/04/2014 4:08 PM

The North Texas community rallied this holiday season to help the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund give nearly 19,500 disadvantaged children a better Christmas.

From longtime donors such as the Fort Worth Antique Doll Club, which collected $300, to first-time givers such as Adam LaSalle, 9, and Elliott Holloway, 10, who raised $10 selling school supplies at Alice Carlson Applied Learning Center in Fort Worth, Goodfellow Fund supporters contributed $894,894 to the charity this year.

“The experience really makes you reflect on how fortunate many of us are, and how very generous – from every corner and every walk of life – our community has been for 100-plus years in supporting the Goodfellow Fund,” said Richard Greene, executive director of the 101-year-old charity. “It is appreciated.”

Although this year’s total fell short of the $1 million goal, Greene said, it exceeded last year’s. Last-minute donations and the Very Merry Cookie Challenge at Central Market gave the fund a $12,000 boost.

The fund provided $50 J.C. Penney gift cards to children including Dana, 14, who has endured treatment for leukemia for 3 1/2 years.

It put presents under the tree for Dana, her 11-year-old brother and 6-year-old sister.

It bought pants, shirts and socks for Kenitra’s three girls, who were homeless this fall.

And the fund gave hope to Joseph, a former corporal in the Marine Corps, whose has stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

“Before this happened my kids always had a good holiday,” he said just before Christmas. “I’d like the Goodfellow Fund to help me provide for my kids this Christmas. That’s something I can’t do right now.”

Greene said it’s the donations that make it happen each year. But it’s a blessing for these families.

“It’s seeing the smiles and hearing the sincere and quiet ‘thank you’ from all of the parents and guardians that validates the good work the Goodfellow Fund contributes to our community,” Greene said.

“I wish each donor could personally experience the appreciation and sincerity of these families.”

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