The Sweetwater Goodfellows were started by four Rotarians in approximately 1929. The Goodfellows have gone through many changes over the years. Today their mission is “to provide food and toys to needy families with children and food to needy individuals during the Christmas season.”
In 2010, the Goodfellows expanded the program to include all of Nolan County instead of just Sweetwater. They also assist all the nursing homes in Sweetwater by providing gifts to each resident in need and the National “Angel Tree” program through the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for children that live in Nolan County and have one or more parents incarcerated.
In 2010, the Sweetwater Goodfellows assisted a total of 903 people and raised $17,818.46. The Sweetwater High School National Honor Society assists in the preparation each year along with many volunteers. Through the community's generous donations, the Goodfellows are able to assist the Nolan County Food Bank and the Sweetwater/ Nolan County Assistance Center with donations. Donations can be sent to Goodfellows, PO Box 1148, Sweetwater, Texas 79556.
The current officers for the Sweetwater Goodfellows are Ms. Billie Johnston, President; Ken Becker, Vice-President/ Treasurer; and Ms. Aubrey Turnbow, Secretary. The Goodfellow organization is under the umbrella of Sweetwater Improvements Inc., a 501-c3.
The schedule for this year includes a toy drive at Wal Mart on Saturday, Dec. 3, with distribution of the toys and food on Wednesday, Dec. 9. A Christmas party with Santa will follow distribution for the children.
Goodfellows calendar of events:
• Goodfellows Toy Drive from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 3, 2011, at Wal-Mart.
• Goodfellows set up from 5-8 p.m. each day, Dec. 6-8, at Lamar Street Baptist Church.
• Goodfellows distribution from 9-11 a.m. on Friday. Dec. 9, 2011, at Lamar Street Baptist Church.
• Goodfellows party with Santa from 3:45-4:45 p.m. on Friday. Dec. 9, 2011, at Lamar Street Baptist Church (only for families with children).