The Omaha World-Herald’s charitable involvement dates to the 1890s, when the generosity of readers helped area farmers overcome bad crops and widespread unemployment. The “Tow Line,” as it was known then, became a symbol the newspaper used to stir public opinion and build support for a charity or an issue.
In 1910, The World-Herald renamed its charity Goodfellows. The program began as an effort to match 750 needy children with families who promised to provide them with a decent Christmas. In 1945, World-Herald Goodfellows Charities, Inc. was chartered as a nonprofit charitable corporation. Goodfellows has raised and distributed nearly $10 million since that date.
With The World-Herald paying all administrative costs, every dollar donated to Goodfellows goes directly to those in need.
Goodfellows assistance is diverse. First, year-round emergency funds are available to families with one-time urgent needs. This is done in partnership with the United Way of the Midlands, Heartland Family Services, ENCAP and Together Inc. Second, holiday meals are provided to about 1,200 families – more than 4,000 people -- referred by area social service agencies. Lastly, in partnership with Holy Family Door Ministry and Omaha Public Schools’ Project Help program, Goodfellows provides funds for clothing shoes and coats for thousands of underprivileged children.