Sometimes, Goodfellows dedications are intended to remain a secret.
Many people mention loved ones or fond memories when they donate to The World Herald’s longtime charity, which helps local residents with one-time emergency aid when they’re struggling because of unforeseen expenses.
Karen Roe of Bellevue is one of those people. Her gift last year said it was in honor of “61 years since a special Jan. 3.”
If you ask her about the dedication, she’ll tell you that it’s an observance of her husband’s birthday each year. But when you ask her his name, she’ll clam up.
“He didn’t want his name in the paper, but I wanted to make sure he knew who it was for,” Roe said.
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The couple have been married for 40 years. They met when both worked at a King’s Food Host in Littleton, Colorado. They made their way to the Omaha area when her husband was stationed at Offutt Air Force Base in Bellevue, and stayed after he retired from the military.
They chose Goodfellows because all the money donated goes directly to clients. The World-Herald pays the administrative costs.
Reading stories in the newspaper about people the charity helps drives home its importance, Roe said.
“There’s just so many ways that it reaches so many people in different situations,” she said.
They’ve been giving at least five years. Roe waits until the campaign’s nearly over, timing her gift to her spouse’s birthday celebration, with the same dedication and a different number.
“He didn’t want it to be about him,” she said.