Mom writes Goodfellows from her hospital bed, seeking a nice Christmas for her kids

Yesenia sat in her hospital bed writing a letter to the Goodfellow Fund. Even as she struggled with a serious medical condition, she was thinking of how her three young children might still have a nice Christmas.

“My kids are my world, the biggest blessing in the world,” she said. “This year has been a hard year for us.”

In November of 2022 she was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a medical condition in which the stomach muscles become paralyzed, making it harder for food to be digested.

“I have been admitted to the hospital much more times than my fingers can count this year,” Yesenia said. “With all my medical problems and hospitalizations I lost my job, and it’s been a very hard struggle.”

She’s not giving up, though. She recently decided to return to school to study cosmetology, so she can set her own hours.

“I would love for my children to be among the fortunate to be blessed by you,” she wrote from her hospital bed. “They’ve seen mommy so sick that I just want a happy Christmas for them this year.”

So does the Goodfellow Fund. For more than a century they have made it their mission to help children from families in need have a joyful Christmas. The goal of the Star-Telegram is to help 13,000 children in Tarrant County by providing a $50 tax-free gift certificate for each child for new clothing from Old Navy.

“This mama would be so grateful,” she continued. “Thank you for reading this and may you have infinite blessings in your life for helping people in need like our family.”

About the Goodfellow Fund

The story on the Goodfellow website describes its beginning as an offshoot of the first newspaper charity drive in the United States, started by the Chicago Tribune 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.

A couple years later, the Advertising Club of Fort Worth staged the first local Goodfellow campaign. On the day after Thanksgiving in 1912, Publisher Amon G. Carter brought the tradition to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

To find out more, or to learn more about helping, visit The post office box for donations and correspondence is P.O. Box 149, Fort Worth, TX. 76101.