It’s not required, of course, but people helped by the organization often send a store-bought card with a warm note. Others send more personal letters, telling school officials what Goodfellows’ help has meant to them.
For officials at school Family Resource and Youth Resource centers, those letters mean a lot.
Kristi Lanham, youth resource center coordinator at Daviess County Middle School, says she reads family letters to Goodfellows “with a lump in my throat and a tissue in my hand.”
“There’s not a day that goes by that Goodfellows doesn’t make an impact in a student’s life,” Lanham said.
The Goodfellows Club has been serving children in need for over 100 years, providing clothing, winter coats and even dental care to students in need. There is a lot of need out there, and it has been met year after year through the support of people who have made contributing to Goodfellows part of their holiday season.
In a recent letter sent to Lanham, one woman wrote: “Being a single mom of five kids with no income makes every day a struggle in many ways. My kids are always in need of clothing and other things, and I am very grateful for everything!
“My kids are going to be so excited when they ... are able to wear new clothes to school. Thank you,” the woman wrote.
So far this school year, Goodfellows has assisted 685 students in the county school district, Lanham said. “I have been to both Walmarts this week” buying clothing for students with Goodfellows dollars, Lanham said.
Carrie Kimbrell, youth service center coordinator for Daviess County High School, said Goodfellows is active in the school all year long, providing clothes for the new school year, for when the weather turns cold, and when a disaster strikes a family.
While most of the letters come from parents, some students who have been touched by Goodfellows reach out to say thank you as well.
“Thank you for the new clothes that will keep my sister and I warm this fall and winter,” a student wrote to Kimbrell. “I really appreciate you took the time to help us. I do not know what we would’ve done without your love and generosity.
“You truly are a blessing in our lives,” the student wrote.
Kimbrell said youth resource center coordinators encourage students and parents to write thank you letters because it can feel good for the family to acknowledge the help they needed and deserved.
“At this age, it teaches the kids that, when someone does something nice for you, it’s important to say, ‘Thank you,’ ” Kimbrell said. With the community’s help, Goodfellows provides considerable assistance to students, Kimbrell said.
“They are sometimes able to provide $175 in clothing to a kid,” Kimbrell said.
Contributions to the Goodfellows Club can be mailed to: Goodfellows Club, Messenger-Inquirer, P.O. Box 1480, Owensboro, KY 42302. 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, Dec. 7, 2017
Previously reported $60,235.53
Owensboro Middle School South Soup
Day for Kids $200
In memory of Joyce and George
In loving memory of my husband,
Dick McEnroe by Pat McEnroe $100
In loving memory of my parents, Les And Lib Hughbanks, and my in-laws,Tom and Bert McEnroe by Pat McEnroe $100
Women’s Club of Owensboro $100
In memory of Gilbert and Dorothy N. Spinks $100
In loving memory of Ted Stinnett by Wife, Sylvia Stinnett, Lisa Means,
Brandon, Christopher, and family $60
In memory of Millie and Shorty Richeson $50
Jeff and Vicky Hammond $50
In memory of Arthur and Alyce Davies, Ed and Nita Speer, and Sue Speer McMurtry $50
In honor of David Rosenberg by Tapscott’s ... $50
Alex and Patricia Monanteras ... $25
In memory of Johnny Whitehouse by the Whitehouse family ... $25
Total as of Dec. 7, 2017 ... $61,345.53