This year, there was no Christmas miracle.
Nor was there a New Year’s miracle or even a successful “Hail Mary” in early January.
For the first time in 14 years, the Norfolk Good Neighbors did not reach its $75,000 goal — but it came close.
For those keeping track, while Good Neighbors didn’t reach its goal this year, in previous years, the goal was reached at the last moment, including last year.
The 2019 fund drive ends with $72,131.12 raised.
Susie Lund serves as treasurer of the Good Neighbors advisory board. She said because of exceeding its goal in previous years, the Good Neighbors should not have to cut back services in 2020.
“Through prudent spending in the past, we will have a successful 2020 financially. I am also confident that if the need arises, this community will respond in kind,” Lund said. “We are blessed in Norfolk to be able to take care of our neighbors through the generosity of those around us.”
Allene Johnson manages both the Good Neighbors’ Christmas efforts and the food pantry year-round. Lund said Johnson does a good job managing both programs.
“Allene has a kind and caring spirit and is generous with her time to our organization. She truly has a heart for all that we serve.”
Lund said Norfolkans and Northeast Nebraskans are generous. That extends from such places as Tilden, Stanton and Pierce to farther away in Burt County.
“We have seen time and time again that the needs of people are met through that generosity,” she said. “They are generous with their time, their possessions and their talents.”
Kim Long, vice chairwoman of the advisory board, said she wishes to express her gratitude to Northeast Nebraskans for their generosity.
“This is a great place to live,” she said. “When there is a need, people respond. It is one of the great things about living in Norfolk, even if we didn't quite hit the goal this time.”
The Christmas program provides food for families and individuals and gifts for children before Christmas, as well as blankets and gloves.
Good Neighbors also helps provide clothes or essential supplies in emergency situations or pays a utility bill, rent or a prescription for those who qualify.
The food pantry came under the umbrella of Good Neighbors in 2012.