Goodfellows: Gratitude for this couple means sharing blessings - Omaha.com
Published Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 1:00 am / Updated at 7:47 pm
Goodfellows: Gratitude for this couple means sharing blessings
To our readers
Throughout the holiday season, we will highlight the big-hearted people who give to The World-Herald's Goodfellows charity in its annual holiday campaign. We're calling them “Goodfellows Angels.” If you know of a Goodfellows donor whom we should feature, email elizabeth.freeman@owh.com.

In a Gretna neighborhood already glowing with Christmas lights, one front door wears a defiant Thanksgiving banner.

“It makes me crazy we blew by Halloween (to Christmas), and there isn't even a Thanksgiving thing to be seen,” said Connie Lowndes, who owns that front door. “It's a time to reflect on blessings of the past year and be thankful for friends and family. Our culture blows by that too fast.”

For Connie and her husband, Bill, gratitude means sharing their blessings, including annual donations to The World-Herald's Goodfellows charity.

Goodfellows offers one-time emergency aid and provides holiday meal certificates to needy people in the area.

“We love the fact that it's for our community,” said Connie, who volunteers with the Literacy Center in Omaha. “This isn't from far away or for unknown people. And all gifts seem to be gratefully accepted — from the fourth-grade class that collected change to Omaha's wealthiest philanthropist.”

The couple said giving back should inspire a chain reaction.

“Our philosophy on giving is that it needs to be an example to others, too,” Bill said. “It's putting a challenge out there.”

The most important challenge is to their children. When Ben, 26, and Emily, 23, were toddlers, Bill and Connie started donating to Goodfellows in their names each year. Now that Ben and Emily are adults, their Christmas gifts from their parents include donations to organizations they select, most recently Heifer International and spring-break service trips for students.

“They have to choose, it has to be legit, and they have to check it out,” Connie said. “We challenged them, 'Throw in more of your money now. This isn't just our gift, it's your gift.' ”

Bill and Connie, meanwhile, have continued to give to Goodfellows.

The couple said they are inspired by the White Envelope Project, an effort four siblings founded to encourage worldwide giving (http://www.whiteenvelopeproject.org/). Giving is an opportunity “to put our money where our mouth is,” they said, and influence the next generation to value community.

“We've always felt that for us, it's important to give back, no matter how much or how often,” said Bill, a physician with Alegent/Creighton Health in Gretna. “Our job as parents is mentoring our kids that way, too.”

Contact the writer: Anna Gronewold

Anna.Gronewold@owh.com    |  

Anna is a University of Nebraska-Lincoln fellow who writes for news.

A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
Man's body found near J.A. Creighton Boulevard and Seward Street
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
TD Ameritrade says profit up 35 percent in second quarter
EB L Street lane to close
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Some city streets remain closed
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
8% of alcohol sellers checked in Omaha area last week sold booze to minors
OPS bus, SUV collide; no students onboard at the time
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Lori Jenkins, charged as accessory in 4 murders, waives speedy trial
Iowa State servers hacked, nearly 30,000 SSNs at risk
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
2nd District House race: After 8 terms, Lee Terry knows how D.C. works — and doesn't
Bellevue man is killed at Minnesota dance hall after South Sudanese basketball tourney
Spring corn planting still sputters in Nebraska, Iowa, other key states
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
U.S. Senate race: State Auditor Mike Foley defends Shane Osborn against ad campaign
Public defender to represent Nikko Jenkins in sentencing
Mid-America Center on track for lower operating loss
< >
COLUMNISTS »
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Breaking Brad: Kraft wiener recall is business opportunity for TD Ameritrade Park
Instead of returning the wieners, TD Ameritrade Park is calling them "cheese dogs" and charging double.
Breaking Brad: Photos with the Easter Bunny are so 2010
In a sign of the times, most kids ran out of patience waiting for a photo with the Easter Bunny at the mall, just snapped a selfie and went home.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
PHOTO GALLERIES »
< >
SPOTLIGHT »
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
WORLD-HERALD ALERTS »
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »