There’s no question that The World Herald’s Goodfellows charity is needed more than ever, said Shawna Forsberg, president and CEO of the United Way of the Midlands.
Her agency’s 211 helpline tells the story. It provides assistance and referrals for people who are struggling to pay for housing, utilities, food or other necessities.
“Calls are up 105% from last year,” Forsberg said. “So many people who have never had to ask for help before are asking for assistance, and Goodfellows dollars are so critical for that. With COVID, right now, the need is really huge.”
The $644,798 raised in the 2020 Goodfellows campaign, which ends today, will be used to provide relief for many of those 211 callers, she said.
Combined with about $126,000 raised in 2020 before the campaign started in November, the United Way has about $777,500 from Goodfellows to distribute to needy Omaha-area residents. That number could go up before the Goodfellows fiscal year ends on Feb. 28.
Goodfellows exists to provide one-time emergency assistance to people in crisis. The United Way partnered with The World-Herald to administer the charity on Nov. 19, right before the Nov. 23 launch of the campaign.
Forsberg is pleased with the results of the United Way’s first outing.
“We’re learning,” she said. “We are so appreciative of the partnership with The World-Herald. We felt very embraced by the community.”
A total of 1,749 donors gave this year, up from 1,670 in 2019. The largest donation was $35,000; the smallest was $5.
In addition to Nebraska and Iowa, checks came in from Virginia, Arizona, California and Florida.
The amount raised in 2020 was up slightly from the $640,885 raised in last year’s campaign.
The robust campaign followed a push by former Goodfellows Executive Director Sue Violi to raise money when the pandemic started in March.
“People were incredibly generous in March, April and May, way over the previous year,” she said, accounting for at least $45,000 of the money available for struggling area residents.
Forsberg said the United Way is working on ways to refine the administration of Goodfellows, though few changes are planned. The agency will continue to look at ways to get as much help as possible to those who need it.
“The whole intent is that we want the spirit of the Goodfellows program to be maintained,” she said. “Our team embraced it and worked hard on the community’s behalf. I’m glad we have a lot of money to give out. That’s really what this is all about.”
The Gallagher Foundation; In honor of our election officials and volunteers – Jean Grem; anonymous
Harry D. (Hal) Koch Charitable Fund
In memory of SMSGT Robert L. Bohn (USAF Ret.); The Landen Foundation; anonymous
Grateful for our many blessings despite a bad fall and injury that we were able to celebrate our 62nd Wedding Anniversary in Nov. – Marilyn and Walt
E. Robert and Phyllis H. Newman Donor Advised Fund; Rockbrook Camera; In memory of Mr. and Mrs. T. S. Harris, Jr.; anonymous
In honor of our 8 grandchildren: Emma, kayla, Jenna, Francis, Margaret, James, Connor and Ryan – Ellin and Dennis Murphy
From Omaha Track Employees
James and Sharon Vacanti; Mary and Gary Crouch; Anna M. Scheel; In lieu of Family Gifts; Robert Singleton; In loving memory of Dr. Kate Coffey Olechoski who left us far too soon; Michael and Juliann Fritz; Donald and Janice Larsen; Nancy Huber; Frank and Irene Dohn; Robert Owen Family; anonymous – West Point; anonymous
7 “Grands” – Carol Broderick
In loving memory of Elizabeth (Betty) Davis from the William Davis Family; Michael and Barbara Kelly Charitable Fund; In memory of Al, Adeline, Jim, Steven, and Sky Kelly by Pat Kelly; Steven and Katherine Johnson; Judith Vrana; In honor of our daughter Jessica Danielle Ovici for the successful completion of her Master of Science; In loving memory of Raymie, Frances and Kay – Dianne R. Amenta Charitable Fund; Kathleen and Brett Wawers; Wade and Marcella Horton; Greg Kluck and Teresa Sortino; Gloria and Doug Osborn; Mary Lou Lueders; Mary and C. Richard Yoest; Merry Christmas from Great-Great- Grandma Marilyn; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous
In memory of LeRoy, Eva, David and Sandra Stride by Ellen Stride Breshnahan; In loving memory of Mary, Russell and Charles Jewell; Birte Gerlings
In honor of EVERY DAY BLESSINGS I. M. SHARING
Susan Boyd and Craig Lemke; anonymous
In memory of our son, Tim from Jim and Peggy Thomas; In loving memory of my wife Ruth Johnson from Carl Johnson; Kent and Lorie Swenson – Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary; In remembrance of Bert Wise, Sr.; Betty L. Beach, PhD Fund; Lynn and Sheila Crosby; In memory of John Prine; In memory of Mary B. Rhoades – R. A. L.; In honor of Time and Ruth’s 50th Anniversary; Mark Goldstrom; anonymous; anonymous
Members from the Sertoma Club of Omaha
In memory of Tom Lovgren, my husband for 56 great years.
In memory of our parents
In appreciation of all the “behind-the-scene” work by Shawna, Matt, Jill, Laura, Cherie, Melissa, Sheri, and the staff at the Omaha World Herald who make the Goodfellows good work possible; In memory of David Stern by Jeff and Cindy Stern; Barry Moody; Craig and Lori Linnenbrink; In memory of John T (Jack) and Marian Grant with love from Martha, John Paul, Sue, Joe, Teresa and families.; In honor of Omaha World-Herald Publisher Julie Bechtel; Jane E. Frey; John and Barbara Frederick; Stephen and Sally Molini; Lorraine and Robert Jeffus; In memory of those I have lost – Lois Marie Thompson; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous
On behalf of our 235 generous members of the Omaha Retail Meat Dealers
On behalf of Shirley Tomka
In memory of Tom Berland and Charlotte Berkland – Ed and Linda Baburek
In memory of Marian, my wife, for 69 years – W.J. Stamp
In memory of Our Parents—Charles & Mary Burke and Jack & Mary Stokes—David & Mary (Burke) Stokes
In loving memory of George and Kamilla Belek, Irvin and Evelyn Holtz and Rose Marie Tichy – Karen and Jerry Belek; Mardelle Gocek; Kelly and Russell Martinson; In memory of Marge and John Schenkelberg, Baby John Little; In memory of parents, Leonard and Betty Crozier; Garry and Loraine Johnson; Bob and Jannie Peterson Elkorn, NE; Susan and Andrew Marino; Polly Hulme; In memory of William H. Bahnke and Richard W. Bahnke – Pauline Bahnke; In honor of family members that have passed – The Fitch Family; In honor of the frontline workers; David Fitzgibbon; Craig and Carolyn Kozel; Constance Wesley; In honor of Zoie, Kira, Tanner, Amelia and Casey T.; Richard Fellman; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous
In memory of Barry Scott Lakin and his father David Owen Lakin by their family
In memory of David and Dale Standley
Sheri and Chuck Holsapple; In memory of Gladys Jensen, Duane B. Moffatt and Roy Jensen from Duane and Barb Moffatt; Judy Heiserman; In memory of Josephine and Mary Anne Bauer; Ronald and Mary Begg; Michael and Amy Johnson; In memory of Patrick and Eleanor McHale; Sue Gentes; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous
Nebraska Public Power District
In memory of Harold Lenz
In loving memory of Larry G. Jensen and his parents Gene and Virginia Jensen. Remembered always and loved forever! By Jackie, Kurt, Wendy, Cory, Kristen, Rylan, and Regan; In memory of Coleen Olson Kinney, Mark and Lorie Olson, Joe Kenny and Kaylyn and Aubrey Dreger by Gene and Gloria Olson
In memory of Juniper
Theresa and Terry Haack
In memory of Dennis, Brian and Holli Hegarty
In honor of our daughter, Megan Spellman Tiffey, a nurse on the front lines – Colleen and Hugh Spellman
In loving memory of Dr. Edgar H. Smith from Mary LaVelle Egan and Larry J. Kauffman
In memory of our dad, Mike Drummy by Caitlin and Emily, Papillion
In loving memory of Jerry Preble from Gayle and Monte Sothmann
In memory of Aunt Helen Sahulka and Aunt Sondie Green—David and Mary Stokes
In gratitude for my children and grandchildren and in memory of their Papa – J. G.; In memory of John Langan by Carole Langan; Gene and Marilyn Spence; In memory of Mike Keane; Adeline Innes; In memory of parents Warren and Marian Zimmerman as well as Fred and Betty Lyman – Al and Jane Zimmermans; In honor of Pam S. and family; Donald L. Andrews; In memory of Rich Tompsett from his family; Karen Wittler; D. C. and Patricia Bradford III; In memory of Ray, Pat and Jeff Severson; Jack Kubat; K. A. and Nancy Holtorff; Gregg Beam; Marilyn Larkowski; Edward and Susan Furman Charitable Fund; Bellevue Education Association Retired; In lieu of adult Christmas gifts – Jeri Petersen; Timothy and Terri Fitzpatrick; John O’Connor; Rodney and Stephanie Larsen; For all the love’s we lost; John Lof; In memory of my husband, Lester Tinnin; In God’s Peace; Ted Jorges, Lois Jorges, Kelly Taylor (Jorges), and Pamala Drum (Jorges); Mike Daugherty and Donna Zebolshy; Phyllis and Bruce Davis; Larry and Linda Pedersen; Donald Schwalm POD; To honor the memory of my great grandmother, Clara Phelps McConnell, my grandmother, Anna Pearl McConnell Best, and my mother, Ann Jennings Walters – Ann Walters; Don Lieberknecht; On behalf of Mae Melton; In honor of Jeremy and Lauren, Love Grandma; In memory of My Parents Anne and Franklin Russell; Vanessa Timberlake; Don and Anita Theophilus; Sally and Gerald Messbargar; In memory of Lou Anderson and Claude “Bud” Bettin; Alfred Roth; Diane and Michael Erdmann; Cherly and Robert Brown; Jim and Elaine Hurley; James and Leigh Amerine; Judith and Stanford Lessmann; Helen and Leroy Johnson; Lorene Dulkoski; Karen Korte; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous
In loving memory of Grandma Linda Kamin from the Kamin Family
In lieu of Christmas gifts to my children this year and to honor Gil Hill’s 95th birthday in April 2021—Nancy Hill
My special guy celebrating his birthday on January 3; anonymous
Memorial for my son, Terry Bundy – Doris Dye
In memory of Sylvia Nimmo; In memory of Gene Huffman and Katherine Roll by Phyllis Huffman
In memory of Betty Casebeer from the Omaha Betty Club
In memory of Mike Lynch and Paul & Willa Schutte from Mary, Josh & Brittany Lynch; In memory of Richard and Jean Howell; Joyce Kreifels; Sarah Gruidel; Janet Johnson; To Family – Past and Present – Gretchen Green; In memory of Richard Edzards – Nancy Edzards; David Farris; In memory of Robert Kment; In memory of Ralph & Doris Wellman and Gene Miller; In honor of our neighbors – Pat and Kathy Tripp; Love and prayers to Deb and Lou for a full recovery from COVID – Larry and Betty; In memory of Ms. Lou Vene Medina and Mr. Richard Medina; Gary and Kim Petersen; Addean Middleton; Thomas and Melissanda Prohaska; In loving memory of Trent Tiller by Marcia Miller; Martha and Albert Povondra; For our children and for our health – Tom and Maylene Haslett; In memory of Marilyn; In memory of my wife Sandra K. Price – Ron “Pud” Price; Grady and Elizabeth Hansen; In loving memory of Earl Eckmann from Marian Eckmann; Robert and Esther Holmes; Judy and Michael Cunningham; Catherine and John Folsom II; In appreciation of all the pandemic front line workers – Dave and Sue Olson, Wayne; Richard Scott; Mary Kinstler; Dolores D’Agosto; In memory of John Condon, my beloved husband for 77 years: my dear grandchildren Bob Condon and Amber Condon – Jennie Condon; Linda Kamp; Barbara Bruce; From Christian and London Winans; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous; anonymous
The Right Stuff Retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Charles “Chuck” Yeager – Dennis D. Schumacher
In memory of our parents Mr. and Mrs. Louis French , sister Ina Mae Muhle and husband Don from Marie and Earl French; In memory of our parents Mr. and Mrs. Ed Subovaty, Sr., brothers: Ed Jr., Robert, Lumir, Victor, and Arnold Subovaty; Ann Green, Evelyn Stehlib and Viola Mae Zachar, and nephews Allen Lee Cauble and Jack Nisi from Earl and Marie French
In memory of former members Brett Lammers and Corey Jorgensen Goff League Owners JR and Larry; In honor of Amo, Lotte, and Gead Rauschenberg; anonymous
In memory of my parents, Jim and Marie, and their extended families
From Gloria Drake; In memory of Fred and Edythe Hirschman; In memory of Gabe Namuth from Grandma B.; anonymous
In honor of my late brother, Duane Smith – Darlene Tannehill; In memory of my friend Sally – J. F. Lane; In memory of Carol Leisey and Jessie & Helen Sorenson – Bob Sorensen; In Memory of Joe Brazda Sr.; J. R. Broers; Mary Jo Havlicek; Johnnie Parker; Kathleen Beiting; Jacqueline Knight; In loving memory of Bernice Scallon from Pat and Judy; In honor of mom, Jodeen Petersen from Dave and Clarice Shively; Martin and Nita Richards; anonymous; anonymous
In memory of Lydia Welch, Harold and Florence Rhea and Fonda J. Rhea Love the Neil Welch Family; In memory of Our loved Ones that have passed away.; In memory of all the relatives and friends we have lost in 2020 – Jerry and Sherry Feagins
In memory of Larry Lough from Abion High School Class Mate; Karla Ermel; Farahari Family
Patricia and John Haro; Debra and Wesley Kozeny
Richard Salazar; anonymous
Daily Total: $97,716.61
Campaign Total: $644,797.97
Photos: The Goodfellows fund through the years