After a difficult year of job searches and penny-pinching, Fort Worth residents Lorita and Andrew are looking forward to spending Christmas with their four children. They also have the hope of a brighter 2018.

“My husband lost his job in the first part of March,” Lorita wrote in her Goodfellow Fund application letter. “Since then it has truly been a roller coaster, by me being the only one bringing in income.”

She works in human resources at a hospital.

“Thank God my husband recently just got a job,” Lorita said on Thursday. Andrew, a Fort Worth native, had been working in the oil fields of West Texas until he was laid off. Now he is working locally, on oil field equipment.

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But after a year of stretching Lorita’s pay as far as it would go, there is a lot of catching up to do.

“It will take us months to get out of debt,” Lorita said. “Therefore I knew this year will be very hard for us to be able to buy clothes and shoes for our children.”

Their sons are 10, 9 and 5; their daughter is 7. They each received a $50 gift card for clothes and shoes from J.C. Penney, courtesy of the Goodfellow Fund.

“We had such a hard time buying them school clothes, this will help us to be able to buy them more,” she said.

Lorita, who is originally from Mississippi, wants to surprise her children with wrapped gifts under the tree on Christmas morning, so she didn’t take them along on the shopping trip.

She already knew the sizes, colors and styles, so Lorita used the cards to buy her children new jackets, pants and other clothes that she knows they will like.

Another charity is helping out with toys and games.

Lorita has a special message of thanks for those who contribute to Goodfellows and make the gifts possible.

“By giving to the needy,” she said, “you will never know how far your giving has helped someone.”

Be a jolly Goodfellow

Since 1912, the Star-Telegram’s Goodfellow Fund has provided practical gifts for schoolchildren. Join this tradition by sending a contribution to Goodfellows, Box 1870, Fort Worth, TX 76101. Or go online to goodfellowfund.org and make a secure credit card donation.

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