To a high school student, fitting in is important.

Sure, kids in elementary and middle school want to be part of the group, too, but high schoolers particularly don’t want to stand out negatively in the crowd. Seemingly little things can make a high school student feel like an outsider, such as not having school supplies, or new clothes.

Those “little things,” however, have a big impact on a how a student sees himself or herself — and that can seriously damage the student’s chances of learning and getting good grades. But while high school students have as much need for help as children in the elementary and middle schools, they’re much less likely to reach out and ask.

“As an individual, they are reluctant,” said Carrie Kimbrell, Youth Service Center coordinator at Daviess County High School. “... I’ve had some times where I’ve asked kids if they need help with clothing, and they’ll turn it down.”

But there is help for those students through the Goodfellows Club. For more than a century, Goodfellows has been providing students with school clothing, coats and shoes. The organization also provides dental work.

Kimbrell said she encourages reticent students to take help. “My whole goal is not stigmatizing them ... but telling them, ‘It’s something someone wants to do for you. We wanted just do something to help you have the things you need,’ ” she said.

The support Goodfellows provides students in the high schools is felt right away, because it gives students a “level playing field” with peers so they can focus on learning, Kimbrell said.

“That makes a huge difference in the classroom,” she said. Instead of standing out, a student who receives clothing from Goodfellows becomes a student who is ready to learn.

“They want to blend in, like everyone else,” Kimbrell said.

Because Goodfellows is so important to students at the high school, the faculty and staff support the Goodfellows mission. This year, the DCHS staff raised $429 for the club through their annual Soup Day. 

“Our school has made it a tradition” to donate to Goodfellows, Kimbrell said. “It gives me a chance to educate (the staff) on what Goodfellows is.” Students who receive help through Goodfellows are always grateful for the community’s support, she said.

“I do have families that write thank-you notes,” Kimbrell said. “It’s neat to see how much it means to them.”

Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to: Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42303. Donations can also be dropped off at the newspaper office at 1401 Frederica St. People can also contribute online at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.

Goodfellows Roll Call, Nov. 30

Previously reported … $40,339.15

Anonymous … $1,000

In honor of our family members,

their spouses and children: Joan

Zink, Jim Hayden, Carolyn

Poston, Anna Marie Walker,

Imelda Kelly, Lucy Casabella,

Marilyn Mercer, David, Donnie,

Richard, Karen Hayden, Matt

Keiser, and Joyce Nalley by

PJ and Sarah Hayden … $300

William and Esther Jansing … $100

Anonymous … $100

In memory of Terry Weddington,

Clara and Roscoe Sublett,

Johnny Whitehouse, and

Paulette Snyder … $50

In memory of Jeff Hedges by

Charlotte Hedges… $50

In memory of Conrad “Sonny”

Adelman by family … $25

Anonymous … $20

David and Donna Farmer … $10

Charlotte and Stratton Miller … $10

Kathy and John Anderson … $10

In memory of Russell (Jack)

Willis, Loretta Willis, and

Robert M. Johnson by Brenda

Willis … $10

Total as of Nov. 30 … $42,024.15

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