As the holiday season nears, the Goodfellows hope to help Santa reach about 15,000 North Texas children.
Charitable donations are in line to meet the demand, said Richard Greene, executive director of the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund Campaign.
“To have contributions at the same pace as the prior year is terrific,” Greene said. “I think this is significant as you look at the continued uncertainty of the economy.”
Star-Telegram readers were introduced to the charity in 1912 through a column by then-editor James North. He encouraged folks to become “Good Fellows” by helping children and families with a bit of Christmas cheer. Goodfellow Fund presents evolved over the following century from boxes of food and goodies to gift cards, but those donating have remained generous over the years.
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In 2017, donations that will provide $50 gift cards to eligible area school children are matching last year’s numbers. Campaign totals tend to hover around the same mark year after year, Greene said. He added that the figures are a “testament to the generosity of our community and the legacy of our now over 100-year-old fund.”
Last year’s $806,300 total — money donated from November 2016 through June 30 — was less than 2015’s $865,000, but it exceeded Goodfellow’s $800,000 goal. That goal hasn’t changed. But the fund’s most important factor is the number of kids who get gift cards.
“This holiday season we again hope to serve 15,000 needy school children with shoes and clothing,” Greene said.
More than 130 volunteers — who last year contributed more than 2,760 hours — already are interviewing applicants to verify each family’s identification, residence, income and number of children in school.
More than 5,000 parents and guardians signed up at goodfellowfund.org. Interviews begin Monday.
Now it’s your turn to join neighbors and organizations throughout Tarrant County who go to the Goodfellow website to donate.
“In addition to generous Tarrant County residents, several charitable foundations, civic clubs, neighborhood associations, churches and social-service agencies also support us,” Greene said. “We thank past donors and look forward to welcoming new residents who discover the fund’s legacy and want to become Goodfellows.”
Be a jolly Goodfellow
Since 1912, the Star-Telegram's Goodfellow Fund has provided practical gifts for schoolchildren. 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.