Alejandro Guzman and his mom Rebecca Perez recently moved to Storm Lake from Marshalltown. The move ate up a good chunk of their funds.
Kids love playing in the snow and Alejandro had no snow pants or a coat that fit him, so his mom has kept him inside.
It was a co-worker of hers at United Community Health that informed her of the Mr. Goodfellow program which is supported by many good people in the community and surrounding communities to make sure that children have warm outer clothing to wear.
Last week, Bonnie Engel, Alejandro's teacher at the Gingerbread House, presented him with a new pair of snow pants, winter coat, hat and gloves.
"I asked him if he would like to have some new snow pants and a coat," she said. "He was very excited and said 'these are mine?'"
And now that he has the new outer wear, outside is where he wants to stay. Gingerbread is "lucky" to have a snow hill on their grounds; it provides a wonderful place for the children - with warm winter clothing - to play!
"I'm new to the community and and it is so good to know I live in a place where people care about each other, especially with all the things going on in the world. The program is a good way to help people who are struggling to keep their kids warm. It's great that the program helped us out."
The Mr. Goodfellow program has been in existence for many years. Hundreds of children have been been warmed by the hundreds of people who have warmly opened their hearts to help. Dollars filter in to the Pilot-Tribune office for several months of the year from people who want to help the children.
Representatives at the schools keep an eye on the kids and recognize which ones may not have warm clothing for the cold weather and may not due to financial status. These are the children who Mr. Goodfellow helps.
School representatives purchase items according to desired sizes for the children. Looking to the future, the clothing is purchased slightly larger than the size a child is currently wearing so the new items can be worn for at least two seasons.
This year, a total of $9,923 has been donated thus far for the Mr. Goodfellow program.
If you wish to be a part of the Mr. Goodfellow program, and have not yet yet done so, please drop donations off at the Pilot office or mail them to: 527 Cayuga St., Storm Lake, Ia. 50588.
Alejandro - and all the other children who have been warmed by your generosity - thanks you.