In the early 1950s, the Stamford Goodfellows began to help Stamford families in need. Acting as Santa Claus Pro Tem for the city of Stamford, the Goodfellows help poor families have a more abundant holiday by distributing donated food, money, and toys.
The Goodfellows began as a project of the Lions Club. Bill Longley was a key player in the beginning, along with B.C. Trice, Bill Terry, Lee Dickerson and others. In 1998 the Kiwanis Club took over leadership and support. Last year 180 families received help, and they are expecting more this year.
The Goodfellows are helped in turn by the generosity of the people of Stamford and Jones County. Both the Jones Co. Child Welfare Board and the Jones Co. Probation Department have donated money. Churches have collection boxes for members to donate non-perishable foods and toys. Students help gather and deliver items to the Goodfellows. Others who wish to donate money, food, or toys may do so at the Stamford City Hall, The New Stamford American, St. John's Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, Dollar General, and Cashsaver. Donations may also be made and information obtained by calling Michael Sanders at 668-9146 or Dustin Mathis at 665-4816.
Stamford residents who need help from the Goodfellows can request it by completing the application printed in this week's paper and returning it to the Goodfellows. Applications may also be picked up at the Chamber of Commerce, Wes-T-Go, Dollar General, and The New Stamford American. It is also available for download at americannewspapers.net. Applications must be returned to the Goodfellows by December 1st and can be mailed to Stamford Goodfellows; P O Box 1214; Stamford, Texas 79553.
The Goodfellows use donated money to buy perishable foods from local sources just before distributing gift packages. They furnish hams to smaller families and the elderly, and turkeys are given to larger families. They also give milk, bread, and eggs, in addition to the meats and non-perishables. Toys go to children under 10, and youngsters from 11 through high school are given gift certificates. Last year $3600 in Walmart gift cards were given on 205 kids. Last year they feed 182 Families, they spent around $2,000 at Cashsavers, and all of the schools donated can goods.
The Goodfellows will let families know the distribution date by card. The Goodfellows are in desperate need of monetary donations this year, so please send them to Stamford Goodfellows; PO Box 1214; Stamford, Texas 79553.