The Kenosha Christmas Charities, Inc. (The Goodfellows) is committed to serving disadvantaged children in Kenosha County by purchasing toys, food and winter outer garments for distribution through a consortium of social agencies (Holiday House). The goal is to reach every needy child in Kenosha County each winter.
Overall the Goodfellows serve about 3,000 children each year. Our team purchases coats, mittens, gloves, hats and scarves at discounted prices throughout the year and receive donation from various agencies that hold collections that help add to our inventory. The used garments are cleaned by Martino’s Master Dry Cleaning, at no cost, to ensure the outer garments are in mint condition when ready for distribution in late October. We also purchase toys at a deep discount and food cards to be distributed in early December.
I visited the toy distribution this afternoon. I was so impressed of their organization, and the warmth conveyed from them when they sought me out. I must have looked out of place as I tried to take it all in, amazed as I was. They took the time to explain all that was taking place around me, and of the many volunteers of all ages, from senior citizens, to teens that were involved.
The real story began when a young woman walked in with a small child. She told the little girl, all of maybe 5, to go sit under the holiday tree. Mannered and sweet, she sat under it without complaint. Then one of the Holiday House staff members said she was a foster child, and one of 5 children that her foster mother was shopping for. You had to be there to experience the joy of that little girl along with her foster mother. There were others also conveying their gratitude that warmed my heart. I left with emotions felt, and a tear in my eye. It was an unforgettable experience, and one I will remember as I look forward now to soliciting for the next year, as I know now what I am working for, ... that smile on the little 5 year olds face.
My heart is still pounding with pride in our quest.
"Be a lamp, a lifeboat, or a ladder"