Goodfellow Fund trying to avoid “Hail-Mary” pass

If the Star-Telegram Goodfellow Fund were a national football team, it would be entering the final 120 seconds of the game still needing to score points to win.

“We’re in the two-minute warning,” said Richard Greene, who is not an NFL referee but the 101-year-old fund’s executive director.

He was expressing alarm because the number of donations is down about 12 percent from this time last year, and there are about 8,000 families in our area depending on help for some 20,000 school-age children.

The fund needs to raise $1 million to supply each child with a $50 J.C. Penny gift card to buy shoes and clothes. Every donation helps toward that goal.

Greene said about 85 percent of those who contribute each year are repeat donors, for whom the charity is very grateful. But in order to continue to grow to meet the needs of the community, there have to be other Goodfellows — new individuals, organizations and companies — willing to share.

For those who think, because of the closeness of Christmas Day, that it’s too late to make a donation, please know it’s never too late. You can still mail in checks, but an even speedier way to contribute is online.

It takes only about a minute, and four clicks, on the Goodfellow website to make a donation with a credit card, Greene said, noting that the site is secure.

Our community has a long history of helping our neighbors, looking out for the less fortunate and, most especially, taking care of our children, not just at Christmastime but throughout the year.

The Goodfellow Fund is just one way in which we do that, and it has been there every year since 1912, when about 350 families were given canned goods, turkeys, toys and loads of wood and coal.

In tough economic times, households and corporations often have to cut back, even in their charitable giving. That is why the Goodfellows always suggest that you give what you can.

This year’s game is almost over, and no one wants the venerable Goodfellow Fund to have to depend on a “Hail Mary” pass to win this one.

To donate, send a check to: Star-Telegram Goodfellow Fund, P.O. Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Or go online at www.goodfellowfund.org.