Often there is story behind the Goodfellows contributions listed daily in the newspaper and on Omaha.com.
Many of the gifts specify that they are in memory of a loved one or in honor of special friend. But others simply list the donating company or group.
So we set out to find the “back story” for some of this year's listings.
On a normal business day, employees at Senior Market Sales Inc. dress business casual.
But three times during the year, many of the company's 120 employees are allowed to dress down: jeans and tennis shoes, for example. It's a reward for donating to the firm's “Casual for a Cause” fundraisers.
SMS Inc., a national insurance marketing company, holds the fundraisers around St. Patrick's Day, during the summer and at Christmastime, benefiting different charities.
For the latest fundraiser, employees each donated $13 — to be split between Goodfellows and the Food Bank for the Heartland — to earn 13 casual dress days in the final weeks of the year.
“We always try to hit Goodfellows around this time of year,” said Dan Trumblee, communications team leader at SMS. “There are a lot of people in need, and it's a really good way to get employees involved. We spend a lot of time together at work, and it's a good time to pool our resources.”
The effort brought $494.50 to Goodfellows.
We also learned that a gift from Girl Scout Troop 3123 of Picotte Elementary School — $85.83 — was a portion of the troop's cookie money.
The troop has donated to Goodfellows in the past, leader Michelle Mittlieder said. She suggested the scouts contribute to Goodfellows again this year after they used part of their cookie money for a trip to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City, Mo.
“It's a good cause,” Mittlieder said. “They thought it was great.”
She said the fourth-graders looked forward to seeing their donation listed in the newspaper. (Hey, girls, hope you saw it in the Dec. 7 list.)
Goodfellows provides assistance to thousands of families each year. It has raised and distributed nearly $10 million since 1945. With The World-Herald paying all administrative costs, every dollar donated to Goodfellows goes directly to disadvantaged families – helping them with one-time urgent needs, providing holiday meals and providing funds for clothing, shoes and coats. Click here to learn more about Goodfellows.
Click here to donate to the 2012 drive, or mail your contribution to:
World-Herald Goodfellows Charities, Inc.
1314 Douglas St.
Omaha, NE 68102
To contact Goodfellows, call 402-444-1388 or email email@example.com.