Omahan Glenda Lammel has been giving to Goodfellows for years.
It started when she and her husband made donations in memory of friends and relatives. She began to donate in honor of her husband, John, a former principal of Millard South High School, after he died in 2011.
This year, she’s giving twice, thanks to the other five members of her mahjong group. They suspend play each December and meet for lunch instead, taking up a collection for a local charity.
It was Lammel’s turn to choose the recipient when they met this month. She chose Goodfellows, The World-Herald’s longtime fund for struggling area residents. It provides one-time emergency help for those who can’t meet rent, utilities or other unexpected expenses when they’re in crisis, in addition to holiday food vouchers and back-to-school clothes.
“It’s my favorite charity,” she said.
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The women gather twice a month to play the old Chinese game, which involves a card with numbers and letters. You win small change when you pick enough tiles to match a line on the card, Lammel said.
“It’s usually just 25 or 50 cents,” she said.
Players come prepared with bags of dimes and quarters.
The group has been together for about 10 years. Each member has a heart for helping others, Lammel said; she met them either through their mutual membership in the Assistance League of Omaha or through her husband’s work with other educators.
“It’s a good group,” she said. “We’re doing it to keep our brains working.”
Lammel said she chose Goodfellows for their annual charitable contribution because of the way it operates. The World-Herald pays all administrative expenses.
“I’ve always liked Goodfellows, because all the money is used for the people who need it,” she said.