Every year, the Goodfellows Club of Owensboro spends tens of thousands of dollars on school clothes, coats and shoes for area children in need.
That need has not decreased over time. In fact, Goodfellows board members saw spending on school clothing increase by 18% last year over the year before. So far this school year, Goodfellows has spent more than $100,000 on clothing.
Overall, spending this year has increased by 13% over last year’s increase, Goodfellows board president Barry Carden said.
“It goes against what you think is happening with the economy,” Carden said. “Unemployment is so low, you would think the need would be less. But we are not seeing that.”
There is a great deal of need and poverty among children in Owensboro and Daviess County. The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count data book reported that between 2012 and 2016,13% of all Daviess County children live in poverty.
At Owensboro Public Schools, 73.8% of students qualify for free and reduced lunch. In the county school system, 54% of kids qualify.
Because the need is so dramatic, Goodfellows “has become such as crucial part of the school systems,” Carden said. Every year, and all school year long, Goodfellows provides clothes, coats and shoes for children who cannot afford new clothing. The charity also even pays for some emergency dental care.
The Family Resource and Youth Services coordinators in the schools are regularly in contact with Goodfellows, requesting assistance for students.
“They are the best group to identify the needs,” Carden said. “The are the front line, and they see the need first-hand. Goodfellows is the facilitator. We know the needs are being met, because (the school coordinators) have identified them.”
When a person makes a donation to Goodfellows, 100% of that money goes directly to helping children, Carden said.
While unemployment is low, “it doesn’t eliminate the pockets of need that Goodfellows has worked to fill for the past 104 years,” Carden said.
While spending has increased, the level of donations has remained largely the same. That worries the Goodfellows board.
“The growth (in expenditures) has been significant,” Carden said. “We don’t ever want to be in a position where we are not able to meet that need.”
Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to or dropped off at the newspaper office, 1401 Frederica St. Owensboro, Ky, 42301. Donations can also be made online at goodfellowsclubofowensboro.org/contribute.
Goodfellows Roll Call, December 13, 2019
Previously reported … $52,991.56
Anonymous … $1,500
Fraternal Order of Eagles … $1,000
Dick and Martina Temple … $300
In memory of Hugh and Louise Calhoun, Eugene and Maxine Kittinger, Margaret Cotton Calhoun, and Mary Ann Calhoun by John and Frieda K. Calhoun … $300
In loving memory of Tyler Vanover by Mom, Dad, and Austin … $250
In loving memory of Jonna Raymer and John Lee Mills by the Mills family … $200
In memory of our parents by Nancy and Phil Malone … $200
In memory of Clarence, Ray, and Alfred Galloway … $200
In memory of Stanley and Fern Bellamy and Tim Bellamy by Lois … $180
In memory of Butch, Mick, and Marty Bellamy by Lois … $120
In honor of Stella Jean Clary … $100
In memory of Jack and Marybelle Darnell … $100
In memory of our loved ones … $100
In loving memory of Dennis Mattingly by the Ackerman family … $100
In memory of James and Lorene Williams … $100
In honor of Gary Sisk by Office Equipment Company … $50
In memory of Mack and Hattie Roach by Monnie Jones and Reva Rudd … $50
In memory of Charles Irvin Jones by Monnie Jones … $50
In memory of Russell Rudd by Reva Rudd … $50
In memory of Bob Troutman, James and Louise Beane, and Tom Lockhart by Betty Troutman … $50
In memory of Tom, Judy and Logan Lockhart, and Bob Troutman … $50
In memory of Lom and Clara McKinley by Monnie Jones and Reva Rudd ...$30
In memory of Rufus and Ethel Rudd by Reva Rudd … $10
Total as of Dec. 13, 2019 … $58,081.56