For 11 years, Caitlin and Emily Drummy gave $11.08 to The World-Herald's Goodfellows charity.
The amount, though small, was significant. Their dad, Mike Drummy, died of cancer on Nov. 8, 2001, when they were still in grade school.
The cause also was significant. Drummy was the longtime art director for the newspaper.
Their mom, Laure Drummy, said it was important for her daughters to honor their dad, and for them to see the memorial in the printed list of donors.
“We usually do things anonymously,” she said. “But they needed to see that it got there.”
The days after Mike's death were filled with uncertainty. Since it came after 9/11, it was already a sad year, she said. And Christmas was coming shortly, with its wish lists. The girls wanted what their friends had, and Laure wasn't sure that was possible.
She asked the girls to help around the house, doing simple tasks at first. She paid them money they could put toward things like the expensive American Girls dolls all the kids wanted.
She also encouraged them to donate part of their earnings.
“It was important for them to see that they could do jobs,” Laure said. “Both became very good with the rake.”
They also unloaded groceries and folded a lot of laundry.
Both girls say their parents inspired them to give. If a friend or neighbor stopped by and needed something, Caitlin said, her dad would drop whatever he was doing to help. Emily said she learned to give early on when her parents let her put spare change in Salvation Army kettles.
They also remember a loving father who spent time with them even though he had a demanding job — Emily liked running errands with him, and Caitlin said some of the sisters' favorite memories involved going through the revolving door at the old World-Herald building and hanging out in dad's office.
Caitlin will be 22 in December and is a senior studying psychology and Spanish at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Emily just turned 20 and is a sophomore interior design major at Iowa State University.
They eventually graduated from folding and raking to using the drill and the leaf-blower. Both had jobs at Papio Bay Aquatics over the summer.
“They can do anything now, and I'm proud of them,” their mom said.
Recognizing that they have more to give, they increased their Goodfellows donation to $111.08 last year. Now that they're older, they're more conscious of the charity's link to their dad and the work it does. Goodfellows provides one-time emergency aid and holiday meal certificates to needy people in the community.
And they'll give again this year.
“Our donations have helped us remember Daddy in the paper he dedicated so many years to while also helping someone in need,” Emily said.