Sandra happily took her 11-year-old daughter to J.C. Penney recently, to pick out the Castleberry fifth-grader’s much-wanted pair of trendy Adidas shoes.
“She’s super-excited,” said Sandra, 35. “I would never have been able to get her shoes like that on my own.”
Sandra’s 4-year-old son is in pre-kindergarten, but narrowly missed the age cutoff for a Goodfellows gift card of his own this year. Goodfellows recipients receive a $50 J.C. Penney gift card for each school-age child for the purchase of new clothes and shoes.
Sandra herself is a full-time student at Tarrant County College. She is studying to become a licensed chemical dependency counselor, a field she anticipates will give her greater career stability and a better income.
Right now, she and her children live with her parents in River Oaks.
She has her educational expenses covered with scholarships and grants, and gets added support from her parents as well as help with the children.
An Angel Tree program at her church will help with toys and additional gifts for her children.
Sandra’s daughter’s father is deceased, while her son’s father is delinquent on paying his court-ordered child support.
“Christmas is always one of those times a year where I stress pretty heavily, trying to figure out what I am going to do so that my children don’t feel as if they are missing out on anything,” Sandra wrote in her Goodfellows request letter.
Still, Sandra keeps an optimistic view on the future, for her own sake as well as for her “amazing children.”
“I’m fortunate enough to be able to work on earning my degree,” she said. “Organizations like this one truly make an impact on the joy and wonder that is supposed to be Christmas.”
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.