Goodfellow Fund helps single mom in a tight spot at Christmas

Ashley, a mother of two young daughters, has run upon tough times.

The northwest Fort Worth resident works part time at a community college, and her aged Honda Accord was vandalized and the car's steering column was broken, requiring repairs.

Ashley's mother, Connie, wrote to the Star-Telegram Goodfellow Fund, applying for a $50 J.C. Penney gift card to help provide something for Ashley's oldest daughter, Bryauna, a pre-kindergarten student. Ashley's youngest, Aryauna, is 20 months old and not eligible for assistance from Goodfellows, which focuses on schoolchildren.

Connie wrote that she was sending the application on behalf of her daughter "in the hopes that you might be able to help this determined, young, hard-working single mother of two beautiful little girls."

Connie said the girls' fathers "are both in prison and the dates of their release are 2011 and 2013." Therefore, Ashley has "to be both a mother and father to her daughters," Connie wrote.

Ashley aspires to go to college and become a respiratory therapist, Connie said in an interview.

"That's her goal and has been since high school," Connie said.

"She's got a good head on her shoulders, but it's real hard for her being a single mom."

Since 1912, the Goodfellow Fund has helped children of needy families during the holiday season.

That first year, contributors gave $1,242.80, which paid for 350 gift baskets.

In 2009, the fund raised a record $876,810, serving 18,000 children in the Tarrant County area.

For 2010, the goal is to raise $1 million to serve 20,000 children.

That's a lot of kids and a lot of money. But we believe there are a lot of Goodfellows in our community.