1994 (copy)

A fifth and sixth grade class at Karen Western Elementary School collected 13,000 pennies for Goodfellows in December 1994. From left to right are Jeff Viola, April Basile and Heather Juntunen.

The holiday season brings happiness and fellowship to many homes in the Midlands, but for many other households, it can be a time of urgent need. Some households may have find themselves unable to meet a heating bill. For others, a child may need shoes or a winter coat. Some face the holidays concerned about having enough food.

For more than a century, people have contributed to The World-Herald’s Goodfellows program to lend a helping hand with such needs when no other source of assistance is available. Donations can be large or small. During the 2018 Goodfellows campaign, donations ranged from $1.07 to $37,000. Many donations are memorials, in honor of loved ones. Total contributions last year were $703,183.

The World-Herald covers all administrative costs for Goodfellows, so the entirety of donations goes to help those in crisis — young, old, of all backgrounds. This year’s holiday campaign has begun and runs through Dec. 31.

Some 1,930 people, groups and businesses from 20 states contributed to Goodfellows in 2018 to help those less fortunate. As a result, service organizations in Nebraska and western Iowa helped bring a welcome measure of hope and kindness to more than 13,800 adults and children. That support included emergency assistance, grocery vouchers and clothing for school-aged children.

Goodfellows’ partner organizations include a range of local nonprofits, including the Eastern Nebraska Community Action Partnership, Family Housing Advisory Services, Heart Ministry Center, Heartland Family Service, Together Omaha, United Way of the Midlands and Youth Emergency Services.

Donations can be made at www.omaha.com/goodfellows/donate or by mail to World-Herald Goodfellows Charities Inc., 1314 Douglas St., Suite 600, Omaha, NE 68102.

Contact information for Goodfellows is goodfellows@owh.com and 402-444-1388.

For generations, Midlanders have contributed generously through Goodfellows to help those in urgent need. This year let’s keep that support strong and vibrant, in the best spirit of the season.

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