History of The Goodfellow Fund

The Goodfellow Fund is a local tradition almost as old as the Star-Telegram. The Chicago Tribune started the first newspaper charity drive in the United States on Dec. 10, 1909. A Chicago city attorney wrote a letter challenging his friends to donate the money they would have spent on holiday partying to charity.

Two years later the Advertising Club of Fort Worth staged the first local Goodfellow campaign. The next year, on the day after Thanksgiving in 1912, Publisher Amon G. Carter brought the tradition to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. It was newspaper editor James M. North asking readers to help “lonely little children” and become one of the “Good Fellows” by doing so.

Over the years, the type of assistance provided to children and families has changed. In the early years the Goodfellow Fund volunteers delivered wood and coal to homes and later providing fruit and candy. During the Depression and after the Second World War the need shifted to one of the very basics of need, that of shoes and clothing. This continues today to be the only mission of the Goodfellow Fund.

The Goodfellow Fund receives thousands of requests for assistance in providing a holiday gift for children from families throughout the community.

"It is not only a family with low-income, but wage earners that have recently lost their job, incurred a catastrophic illness,

have heavy debt, going through a divorce or elderly grandparents asking for help with a gift for their grandchild.

”The families are real, their stories are real, the need is real.”

Richard Greene

Executive Director, The Goodfellow Fund


 Help Us Help More Tarrant County Needy School Children

Your gift goes further and works hard for this reason

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Through the generosity of our donors, the Goodfellow Fund provides a $50 gift certificate for clothing and shoes to underprivileged Tarrant County school-age children during the holiday season.

What makes the Goodfellow Fund different?

The Goodfellow Fund requires that all applicants receiving assistance come in for a personal interview to ensure that the applicant meets the criteria. These individual interviews are scheduled at a specific date and time and conducted by trained volunteers working through The Goodfellow Fund staff.

The family requesting assistance must in-person provide:

  • Personal identification

  • Proof of residence in Tarrant County

  • Proof and source of income

  • Birth Certificate or proof of age of each child

  • Proof of the enrollment of the child in school

Last year the Goodfellow Fund volunteers personally interviewed over 5,000 families during the holiday season to ensure that the gift you provided is given only to a qualified family of need.


Apply To Help Your Kids

The Criteria for Qualification

Through the generosity of our donors, the Goodfellow Fund provides a $50 gift certificate for clothing and shoes to underprivileged Tarrant County school-age children during the holiday season. To qualify you must meet these requirements.

Identification—1 of 4 accepted forms of photo ID’s allowed. Driver’s Licence, State or Country ID, Alien ID, or I-94 Card. ID document selected for your ID must match that submitted on your application.

  1. Proof of residence in Tarrant County:

    Current driver’s license OR business mail addressed to your home (not personal mail) OR a copy of your home or apt. lease.

  2. Proof of Income for the entire household:

    This includes any of the following that apply to you and/or members of your household: Paycheck stubs or a letter from your employer stating how much you earn. Your current award letter(s) from TANF, SNAP (food stamps unemployment, child support, SSI/SSDI, and/or documentation of any other additional income/benefits you currently receive. To qualify, household income must be less than 125% of the current Federal Poverty Income Guideline. View the Federal Income Guideline Here:

  3. Proof of Child’s Age:

    The Goodfellow Fund provides a $50 gift certificate for Tarrant County school children for clothing and shoes. There must be at least one child in the household between the ages of 4 And 15, that is attending school, starting with grade P-K and born between June 1, 2004 through September 1, 2015.

  4. Proof of Enrollment in School

    For each child whom you are requesting assistance – The documentation must display your child’s unique school identification number. This may be a current report card or a dated letter from the school verifying that the child is enrolled. Categories of Homeschool, Pre-K and Daycare with proper documentation are also acceptable.


Are you Ready to be a goodfellow to tarrant county kids in need?