World-Herald readers once again have demonstrated their generosity, contributing a record amount to the 2017 Goodfellows campaign.

The newspaper’s charity took in $755,554.15, up more than $32,000 from 2016. It marks the fifth straight year of a record-setting final tally.

This year brought in more donors as well — 1,964 people from 16 states sent in checks or donated online, giving amounts ranging from $5 to $35,000.

“Goodfellows is very lucky to be a part of such a generous community, and I am thankful for each and every dollar donated,” said Sue Violi, the charity’s executive director. “There is a story behind each donation, and those stories are what make Omaha such a great place to live and work.”

The World-Herald told several of those stories this year. Many donations came in memory of loved ones. Several more came from local businesses and clubs. One was a commemoration of a successful kidney transplant; another came after a lucky day at a casino. Still others were in lieu of wrapped Christmas presents for friends and family.

Each one of those donations creates an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of local families, Violi said. Because The World-Herald covers all administrative costs, every dollar donated goes to providing one-time emergency assistance, holiday meal vouchers or clothing to local people in need.

With the recent drop in temperatures, Violi said she expects to see an increase in the number of people requesting assistance for clothing and outstanding utility bills.

Because of the record-setting campaign, more people than ever will benefit from the work of Goodfellows.

“Thank you, Omaha,” Violi said. “If I could hug every donor, I would.”

Although the holiday season and the Goodfellows annual campaign is over, the need continues throughout the year. Donations can be made online or sent to:

World-Herald Goodfellows Charities Inc.

1314 Douglas St., Suite 600

Omaha, NE 68102

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