It has been a rough year for all nonprofit’s and it has been no different for Goodfellows.

In 1916, Lawrence Hager, of the Owensboro Inquirer, began serving impoverished Owensboro children at Christmas. More than 100 years later, Hager’s organization, known as the Goodfellows Club, continues to provide for needy children. The organization provides clothing, shoes, coats and emergency dental and medical care — year-round — along with a December Christmas party for children in need. All of the money raised each year goes to help children; there are no administrative fees.

Not only did the organization have to cancel its annual Christmas Party for the first time since 1916 but they cut this year’s budget to $106,600, compared to last year’s $162,000, in anticipation of taking a 30% hit due to COVID-19, said Bob Clark, Goodfellows president.

The group will still be distributing presents at the Owensboro Sportscenter on Dec. 19.

Despite the changes, there has been a fringe benefit to the virus in that it has shone a light on the traditional practices of the organization and shifted the board’s focus on what is next in terms of growth and community engagement, said Clark.

“Word of mouth is still a big piece of our strategy,” he said. “But through our partnership with MobileCause, we have really been able to focus a lot more on improving our website and utilizing Facebook. We are also really looking at focusing on gaining more support and involvement from younger people. We have been discussing ways to reach out to the youth and get younger members in here on the board and involved in the organization. This virus has forced us, like many nonprofits, into looking at our existing practices and begin looking at what we want Goodfellows to look like five or ten years down the road.”

Because of COVID-19, in-person donations at the Messenger-Inquirer are currently unavailable. Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to: Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302 or online at www.goodfellowsclubof owensboro.org/donate.

Goodfellows Roll Call, November 29, 2020

Previously reported ........ $2,368.39

Anonymous ......................... $5,000

Walmart .............................. $2,000

Sandra Elder ......................... $500

Owensboro Middle School staff Soup Day for Kids ............. $308.08

Ann Kincheloe clothe a child ........................................................ $300

John and Margie Wathen ..... $250

Clothe a child ........................ $150

Clothe a child ........................ $150

In memory of Ginger Boehm by H.D. and Nancy Connor ................................................................... $100

In memory of Joel High by Tom Maddox ..................................... $75

In memory of Wanda Oldham by Lois Owens ............................... $50

Total as of November 29, 2020 ................................ $11,251.47

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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