For a country school, Southern Oaks Elementary School in Utica has a diverse population, with students coming from south of the border and from across the world.

“We are at 15 percent” of students who are learning English, Southern Oaks Principal Jennifer Humphrey said. “We have several Burmese students, we have some Somali refugee families” and some Hispanic students. For some of those students, Southern Oaks is their first time in an American school.

“I know, at the beginning of the year, there were 10 different languages being spoken,” by Southern Oaks students, Humphrey said. 

Of course, the refugee students are assisted by agencies such as the International Center, but those students still start school in Owensboro with little in the way of school clothes. So when it’s time for them to go to school, the Goodfellows Club is there to help.

“There’s a great need,” Humphrey said. 

Because Goodfellows is so active at Southern Oaks, the faculty and staff there try to help the organization meet its goal of providing school clothes, shoes and winter coats to needy children. Humphrey said the school does two Goodfellows fundraisers around Christmas — a soup day lunch, where the faculty pays to eat, and a “jeans day,” where teachers pay a nominal fee in exchange for being allowed to wear jeans the last five Mondays of the fall semester.

“They pay $10, and they get five jeans days,” Humphrey said. This year, the school raised $500 between the two events for Goodfellows.

“We know how much Goodfellows helps our students here,” she said. “We want to help them as much as we can. 

“We’re very grateful” for the help Goodfellows provides students, Humphrey said. 

Goodfellows does more than just work with children who are new to the United States. The nonprofit organization has been supplying clothes, shoes, winter coats and even dental care to children in need for more than a century. At Southern Oaks, the Goodfellows Club is busy all through the school year, Humphrey said. 

“We get the majority of requests for clothes at the beginning of the year,” she said. Students also need help from Goodfellows “as the season changes” and “as they grow,” Humphrey said. 

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

Goodfellows Roll Call, Dec. 14, 2016

Previously reported … $43,024.65

Anonymous … $2,600

Texas Gas Transmission, LLC … $1,000

In memory of Larry Hager by

Mary Beth and Phil Hurley … $300

In honor of our family members

and their spouses, Joan Zink,

Jim Hayden, Carolyn Poston,

Anna Marie Walker, Imelda Kelly,

Lucy Casabella, Marilyn Mercer,

David, Donnie, Richard,

Karen Hayden, Matt Keiser,

Joyce Nalley, Christa

Portman, Meredith Wise, and

Kara Begley by P.J. and Sarah

Hayden … $300

Anonymous … $200

In memory of Tom Howard by

Elaine Howard and family … $100

In loving memory of “Sonny”

Hines by the Hines family … $100

In memory of our grandsons,

Jason O’Bryan and Jeff Lang by

Nana and Papaw Schaick … $100

In memory of Larry Hager by

Paul Morsey … $100

In memory of Jim Lovett by Bob

and Sylvia Lovett … $100

In memory of Kevin, L.D. and

Faye Cole, and Robert and

Marjorie Dunbar by Robert and

Mary Cole … $100

In loving memory of my husband,

Emmett (Toby) Purdy by Nancy

Purdy … $100

In memory of James R. Hawkins

by Dumpie … $100

In honor of David Rosenberg by

Tapscott employees … $75

Anonymous … $50

In memory of Kevin, Lori, Lisa,

and Sara by Elsie … $50

Anonymous … $50

Office Furniture & Forms LLC … $50

In memory of Dr. Chuck

O’Neal by Jana Boling … $50

In memory of Agnes Carrico … $40

In memory of Ed Reed Warren

by Hazel Payne … $25

In honor of special friends for

kindnesses shown by Ernestine

Winkler … $25

In memory of Myrtle Winkler by

Ernestine Winkler … $25

In memory of Larry Hager by

Lucy and Tom Neal … $25

In memory of Otto Roberts, Jr.

by James and Anne Roberts, and

Mary and Jimmy Calhoun … $20

In memory of LeRoy and Clara

Bivins by Anne and James

Roberts … $20

In memory of Ruth and Don

Jackson, and Robert and Alta

Moore by Anne and James

Roberts … $20

In honor of Martine and George

Holland by Anne and James

Roberts … $20

In memory of Randall “Buddy”

Trail, “Semper Fi” by Roger

Berry … $10

Total as of Dec. 14… $48,779.65

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