Mr. Goodfellow surrounds kids with warmth

Monday, December 10, 2012
Terri Zimmerman with Mr. Goodfellow recipients Andrew, Adeeya and Adriana, Alta.

Most kids don't mind the snow, in fact, many can't wait to play in the stuff; Alta students Adriana Castro, Andrew Garcia and Adeeya Yanga are included.

They will keep warm this winter, when the snow finally flies, and they are looking forward to snowballs and snowmen.

They received new snow pants, coat, mittens, hat and boots from the Mr. Goodfellow program, all because of the generous and caring people who have contributed to the Pilot-Tribune's annual fund.

Mr. Goodfellow coordinator at the school for the past 28 years has been Terri Zimmerman. She has recess duty in the early morning and sees the children who do and do not have warm coats when the temperatures begin to plummet.

She makes her own lists and visits with the teachers to determine which families could use a little help.

"We don't want anyone not to be warm," she said.

Every child's needs are different; some need only a warm coat, some need boots and some need the works. Parents are always contacted to see if they would consent to their child or children being given new warm clothes.

"Not everyone wants to receive and we respect that. There is a lot of pride."

In those cases, parents may scrap the barrel to the bottom to find enough money to buy the items themselves.

When Zimmerman goes shopping for the children, she gets clothing large enough so that they will last a second year. In some cases the clothing is even passed down to a younger sibling. It is not unusual, either, for some of those Alta parents, whose children received clothing, to bring some of them back once the clothing is outgrown so they may be used for another child in need. It is their way to pay it forward.

She takes special care in selecting the clothing for the Mr. Goodfellow children and the greatest day is when she passes out the clothing.

"The smiles on their faces..." she says with a smile of her own.

Adeeya received a bright purple hat which accents the purple in her coat. Zimmerman was so excited with Adeeya's new warm look that she took her to a mirror to see for herself.

"I'm beautiful," Addeya said.

Ahhh, what a heart-warmer.

Alta serves an average of 15 students each year through the Mr. Goodfellow program.

Zimmerman has many good things to say about the Mr. Goodfellow program and is just as grateful as the parents and the children that receive.

"It is so great. I always look to see who contributes. No matter how big or small a donation may be, it all adds up and goes to helping keep the kids warm."

She wishes all those contributors could see the smiling faces of the kids when they receive the clothing.

There are more children that need warm clothing.

If you would like to help warm the children, please drop off or mail your donation to the Pilot Tribune, 527 Cayuga St., Storm Lake.

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