Southgate Goodfellows steps up efforts to help more families this Christmas – The News Herald

With all the uncertainty over the past two years, the Southgate Goodfellows have remained determined to adhere to their motto “No Kids Without Christmas”, even if it has at times been difficult.

Veronica Leonard, who is the secretary of the organization, said that in 2020 the Goodfellows have garnered much less interest than in the past. Members were only able to reach 29 families in Southgate, with 70 children.

“This year we hope to help a lot more,” she said. “We reached out to the school’s resource officer, Morgan Parrish, and the Southgate Police Department’s Community Relations team to help us reach the children and the community more directly.”

Leonard said the organization would like to provide schools with hats, gloves, scarves, coats and maybe even have boots on hand at elementary, high school and high school offices for students who have them. an immediate need.

“We are also looking to find other ways to help older students who may be past our age limit, but still in need and still enrolled at Anderson,” she said.

The organization spreads the word through letters sent to all Southgate residents at the end of October each year.

Although donations tend to increase as the holiday season approaches, Goodfellows organizations accept donations throughout the year. In Southgate, you’ll find donation jars at the Police Department and Town Hall Treasurer’s Office.

But as expected, the donation jars did not get much attention for much of 2020, as the town hall offices and the archives service office were closed and then a limited number of people were allowed. to enter at once.

For this reason, members say they are especially grateful this year for local businesses, such as restaurants and dental / medical offices, which have made large donations, some public and some anonymous.

“Senders were the best fundraisers during COVID,” Leonard said. “The residents and businesses of Southgate have been very generous and luckily we were able to run our backpacks and school supplies program in August for the returning children. “

Another source of funding is the No-Shave November for Southgate Police officers who make a donation, the amount of which is determined by the Police Administration. Participating officers grow beards in support of “No Child Without Christmas” and can keep their beards from October 1 to December 31.

Usually, firefighters, police, and reserve police distribute Goodfellows newspapers at the intersection of Dix-Toledo and Eureka roads in November, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Goodfellows were unable to send them. Last year.

Although there was no street distribution of the newspaper last year, the newspapers were available in the lobby of the Southgate Police Department. For 2021, the organization has decided not to offer any articles.

This year, the Southgate Goodfellows are hoping for a return of the popular Shop with a Cop / Hero program.

“Due to COVID, we have not been able to set up a Shop with a Cop / Hero program, which means a lot to the community and many donors are specifically asking that their donations be used for this program,” Leonard said.

Members are still planning to host the event, but final plans had not been set as of mid-November.

Those seeking help must be Southgate residents with children up to the age of 16. The organization uses the Poverty Health and Social Services Guidelines to help determine eligibility.

In addition to a completed application, parents or guardians must submit a copy of their driver’s license or ID card, three pieces of mail with the applicant’s name and Southgate address, and copies proof of income. Other required documents include children’s birth certificates, report cards, and last year’s income tax returns.

The apps are available in the wall mount in the far right corner of the Southgate Police Department lobby. The deadline for submitting them is November 24.

In recent years, partly due to the COVID-19 pandemic but also due to a drop in the number of volunteers available, the Goodfellows have mainly distributed gift cards. Leonard said that in the past they have offered a gift card that can be used to purchase items such as clothes and toys, and another gift card for food purchases.

“We would love to have new volunteers join us,” said Leonard. “Any young college kids working in marketing or social media who would like to volunteer their time to spread the word online or help maintain online platforms would be wonderful and more than welcome. “

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