Northeast Nebraska ready to help those in need

November 26, 2018

In good times and bad, there are hardships.

People lose jobs, get their hours at work reduced, experience medical problems, lose their crops or get injured.

Each year — about the time the last of the Thanksgiving leftovers are eaten — the Good Neighbors’ annual fund drive kicks off.

This year’s campaign began Monday. If tradition continues to hold true, the generosity of Northeast Nebraskans will propel this year’s drive over the fundraising goal that has been set at $75,000.

The Good Neighbors advisory board met before Thanksgiving and voted to keep the goal at last year’s total of $75,000.

That amount is adequate to provide assistance all year and keep the food pantry well stocked. Good Neighbors began staffing and running the Norfolk food pantry in 2012.

Allene Johnson, who manages the Good Neighbors office in downtown Norfolk, said the charity has benefited in the past year by a lot of food donations and various churches that support it.

That has kept the Good Neighbors from having to increase its goal, the board decided.

The last time Good Neighbors didn’t reach its fundraising goal was the 2005 campaign when about $56,000 was raised — about $4,000 short of the $60,000 goal.

Designed to offer one-time assistance, Good Neighbors helps with such things as providing clothes or essential supplies in emergency situations or paying a utility bill, rent or a prescription for those who qualify. The food pantry offers assistance as needed.

Although it provides assistance year-round, the Good Neighbors is probably most well known for its work before the holidays. The program provides food for families and individuals and gifts for children before Christmas.

The annual holiday fund drive is sponsored by the Daily News. And to start off this year’s fund drive, the Daily News will donate the first $500.

Names of people needing help are being accepted at the Good Neighbors office at the corner of Fourth Street and Madison Avenue.

The office is open on weekdays from 1 to 3 p.m. The last day for names to be accepted for food boxes and gifts is Friday, Dec. 14. That gives volunteers enough time for distribution work. Food and gifts will be distributed Tuesday, Dec. 18.

Monetary donations to fund the program can be dropped off at the Daily News or sent to Good Neighbors, Box 1014, Norfolk, NE 68702.

The office can be reached at 402-644-8155.

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