Goodfellows Gear Up for Annual Campaign
The Goodfellows of Clintonville and Marion is pleased to announce that in spite of the COVID 19 pandemic that has impacted so many aspects of our daily lives, the organization is busy preparing for their 70th annual distribution of items to needy individuals and families in our area.
On September 10th, the Goodfellows board of directors met and agreed to proceed with our 2020 Holiday campaign, and began the process of modifying our registration and distribution methods for this year in order to keep our recipients as well as our volunteers as safe as possible during this trying time.
In the past, our preparation concluded with a one day distribution event held at Memory Lanes in Clintonville. After careful consideration of the effects of Covid-19, the board decided to distribute items over a 2 day period to best facilitate social distancing procedures. Wednesday December 16th will be set aside for families with children while Thursday December 17th will be for single individuals and those households without children. We've yet to work out all of the details in making these changes, but we are confident that we can serve those in need in our community this holiday season, albeit in a bit different fashion than in the past.
As our distribution area now includes residents of both the Clintonville and Marion School Districts, our efforts to serve the less fortunate residing in those areas continue to grow. The response from the Clintonville and Marion communities last year was outstanding, with churches, civic organizations, and businesses all contributing both financially as well as with donations of food, toys, and other items. Volunteers from both communities joined in helping prepare for the distribution of items collected to the less fortunate.
In the past, local churches, service organizations, and businesses have contributed everything from toys, canned goods, mittens and caps to blankets and comforters, with every item contributed finding a good home. Many of the same organizations have provided countless volunteer hours towards making the annual event a success by their assistance during distribution week.
In 2020 however, while encouraging these same groups to contribute, we respectfully ask that they refrain from collecting any canned or boxed food items as recipients will NOT be receiving boxes of food items as in the past. Instead, 2020 recipients will receive two food vouchers redeemable at Tadych's Econo Foods in Clintonville instead of one as has been the practice in years past. One voucher will be good through December and the other will be good through January. Any food items that are collected will be turned over to the local food pantry.
We continue to encourage the collection of toys, gift cards, and personal care items as we believe we will be able to distribute those items in a safe and effective manner. As always, cash contributions are most appreciated, allowing out team of great volunteers to use those donations in the most effective way possible. We pride ourselves on getting the most bang for our buck!
Founded in the early 1950's by Franks Sinkewicz, former officer at FWD Corporation, the Goodfellows program has provided countless items to the less fortunate over the years, helping to make their holiday season a bit brighter. In addition, dozens of local residents have generously volunteered their time in making each year's event a success, many of them having done so for years.
Funding for the Goodfellows comes from a variety of sources. Along with some funding from the local United Way campaign, a majority of their funding comes from cash donations from generous local businesses, civic groups, and individuals. In addition, funding is also provided through grants from charitable foundations with business ties to the Clintonville/Marion community, among them Alliant Energy, Theda Care, and Kwik Trip.
As a 501c3 charitable organization, your contribution is tax deductible. Anyone wishing to donate may mail their contribution to:
P.O. Box 135
Clintonville, WI 54929
Monetary donations can also be made by visiting our Facebook page “Goodfellows of Clintonville and Marion” and using the donate feature located there.
From November 1-15, volunteers begin the process of collecting the names of potential recipients. Individuals and families identified as such, are then contacted by Goodfellows members to verify their application. Shortly thereafter, recipients are selected and notified of their inclusion in the program for that year.
As mentioned earlier, this year each family will receive two vouchers from Tadych's Econo Foods in Clintonville, allowing them to purchase fresh items and groceries from a list of approved products. The amount of the vouchers, one good through December 2020 and the other good through January 2021, varies each year, depending on donations received,
In mid December, the process of sorting and purchasing toys, and gathering all other items collected throughout the community begins, culminating with the distribution of everything collected usually around a week before Christmas. This years two day distribution will occur on Wednesday and Thursday December 16 & 17 at Memory Lanes and Banquet Hall in Clintonville from Noon until 6pm each day.