What is the Goodfellows Club and how are they helping children in Owensboro? To find out, I spoke with Bernie Hale, member of the board of directors for the Owensboro Goodfellows Club, and Amy Claycomb from Daviess County Middle School.
OL: So, tell us about the Goodfellows Club.
Bernie: The Goodfellows Club has been serving Daviess County’s less fortunate children since 1916, providing clothing, shoes, coats, dental care, and Christmas joy. Throughout the years, the community has supported the charity by responding to the call for financial and volunteer support – they are the “Goodfellows.” These “Goodfellows” come from all walks of life, some donating pennies in an elementary school “penny war,” others much larger gifts in honor or in memory of loved ones. The Goodfellows Club provides resources and services to assist in meeting physical, social, and psychological needs of disadvantaged schoolchildren in Owensboro and Daviess County.
OL: Who benefits from Goodfellows?
Bernie: Children in Owensboro and Daviess County. 100% of all donations go directly to meet local schoolchildren’s needs.
OL: How has the mission of Goodfellows impacted our community?
Bernie: Since school personnel have first-hand knowledge of students’ needs, they have the responsibility of identifying at-risk students, requesting Goodfellows assistance, and responding with appropriate clothing distribution. The Family Resource officers are the Goodfellows “boots on the ground” you might say. Without their knowledge and expertise, we would have no way of identifying those at-risk students. The shared responsibility between the local school systems and the Goodfellows Club ensures that children’s needs are addressed quickly and fairly.
Goodfellows Club meets more than the everyday needs of clothing, coats, shoes, and dental care. When emergencies such as tornadoes, floods, and house fires arise, Goodfellows Club responds. Children left with little after a disaster are assisted immediately with the assistance of local school personnel.
Amy: For middle school kids, being able to start the school year with their own clothes that reflect their personalities is monumental. Many students receive hand-me-downs from adult family members and these clothes are often very worn and ill-fitting.
OL: What kinds of physical needs does Goodfellows support?
Bernie: Clothing, shoes, dental care, really anything that will ensure that children stay in school.
OL: How can Owensboro support Goodfellows?
Bernie: Opportunities to support the organization and actually become a Goodfellow are through donations and participation in the following events:
- Tennis Tournament: Summer
- Soup Days for Kids: October – December
- Messenger-Inquirer Roll Call: November – December
- “Messiah” Performance: December
- Memorial Gifts
- Estate Planning
OL: Tell us about the upcoming Soup Days for Kids event.
Bernie: Soup Day for Kids this year was held at Settle Memorial Methodist Church’s Outreach Center on November 14. All the soup, bread, crackers, lemonade, and desserts are donated from local businesses and served by volunteers. For a suggested donation of $10, guests can come and sample a variety of soups and enjoy the fellowship of other community Goodfellows. This year for Soup Day for Kids, we offered free delivery with a minimum of five orders to local businesses.
Anyone interested in learning more about the Goodfellows can call or text 270.929.9847 or e-mail [email protected].