Mr. Goodfellow is keeping area children warm

Monday, January 28, 2013
Javier was happy to receive snow pants. Nyabiey, Sonia and Gaby were recipients of new winter boots recently at SL Elementary. All of these warm winter items were purchased through Mr. Goodfellow dollars. Over $9,000 in donations have been made this season to date.

The Pilot-Tribune's Mr. Goodfellow program has been keeping kids warm in the cold months in Buena Vista County since the 1920's. Donations from individuals and groups in communities throughout the county is what has made this project so successful.

The Mr. Goodfellow dollars have been stretched even farther this year as individuals and organizations have also donated many new and good used coats, hats and mittens, socks to the Storm Lake Elementary. Twenty five students have been warmed through the donations - they are just now using the Mr. Goodfellow dollars that have been available - with more students to be served.

At SLE, there is a group of teachers - Becky Brown, Diane Brandt, Molly Richardson, SanJuanita Chamul, Dep Ung, Mel Fisher, Leslie Franzmeier, and Celeste Rosas (one representative from each grade level) - that serve on the Mr. Goodfellow committee at the school. With the help of the classroom teachers, and their observations, it is this committee that helps determine what the students need for warm clothing.

The committee sends home information with those students, explaining to the parents that help is available at no cost to them. If they wish to participate, they provide sizes.

The committee does the shopping for the winter clothing, making sure the clothing given to the students has growing room so it can be worn for two winters.

"The parents are grateful for this program," said committee member Becky Brown. "This is such a good program. Parents are working hard to just make ends meet; this is a way we can help out. We want the kids to be able to run in the snow and play with their friends."

For those kids that come to school without warm clothing, recess on winter days means staying inside.

The greatest part of the program is "seeing the smiles" of those children that receive the new winter clothing. It's priceless, Brown says.

The SL Elementary teachers and staff wish to thank a number of groups for their donations:

* The BV County Historical Society Board - hats and mittens

* SL Baptist Church ladies who crochet and donate hats, mittens and scarves

* Northwest Bank - socks, hats, mittens

* Grace Lutheran Church

* Citizens Community Credit Union - coats, boots, hats, mittens, snow pants

There are many individuals that are also thanked for their contributions.

There is always a need for additional snow pants and boots.

"We appreciate all the donations we get," Brown concluded. "This is all for the kids."

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