With the season of giving upon us, the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro is continuing to raise funds for those in need — especially the children.
Bob Clark, president of the Goodfellows Club, said that their roll call program has been a vital part of the organization’s success since he came on board and when the organization started in 1916.
“I have been involved since the early 80s and it’s always been there,” Clark said. “As far as I know, it’s always been the primary fundraiser ... for many years.”
“The primary reason for it is … to allow us to have the funds to do what we need to do,” Clark said. “As far as the community goes, it offers them an opportunity not to just support our organization but to also have the paper publicize their ‘in memory of’ (or) ‘in honor of’ announcements…. It gets them a little bit of … something in return for their donation….”
Clark notes that while the donations aren’t typically grand amounts, every little bit counts and is happy to see so many people from the community donating their own funds to help others.
“If you look historically, we don’t get a lot of really large donations,” Clark said. “The majority of what we get are the $20 to $100 type donations from hundreds of people. That’s another good thing about it — we’re not reliant on any one or two or three primary groups to help support us because it’s so spread out and the donations are so small. It’s spread across the community (and) a large number of people are supporting this.”
Though the organization primarily provides coats, clothes, and shoes for children in need, their purpose goes beyond physical means.
“It’s a physiological need that we are fulfilling for those kids to start school with new clothes — feel good about themselves so that they’re not focused on that versus focused on why they’re in school and learning,” Clark said.
Last year, the organization made history in their 105th year after receiving $186,015.18 in funds, despite initial hesitations brought on by COVID-19 — which Clark called “the biggest year we ever had with roll calls.”
“Prior to COVID, we started seeing the number of children served grow dramatically,” Clark said. “We didn’t know what was going to happen last year … with COVID and people losing their jobs and whatnot. We didn’t know how that was going to play out, but obviously it played out completely opposite of what we thought was going to happen.”
Clark believes this was possible due to folks receiving government funds and felt fortunate to receive those funds and be able to give back.
After last year’s numbers, Clark said that this year’s goal is set for $185,000.
“Obviously, we hope to keep … our donations as high as possible so that you can support as many kids as possible,” Clark said. “...We’re hoping to be as fortunate (as last year).”
Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to: Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302 or made online at www.goodfellows clubofowensboro.org/donate. Another link to donate online is https://app.mobilecause.com/form/3ebhXQ?vid=eoq13. Or, text RollCall to 41444.
Goodfellows Roll Call, November 28, 2021
Previously reported $4,907.83
Total as of November 28, 2021 $4,956.83
Nathan Havenner, Messenger-Inquirer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 270-228-2837