Local Philanthropist To Take Kids On Christmas Eve Shopping Spree

Children will be allowed to choose toys and clothes.

Dhonna Goodale, an actress and reality star, may live a glamorous life today -- but she remembers what it was like to struggle.

That's why Goodale, a philanthropist who gives back every year and awards scholarships to local teens, is planning, with her family, to take approximately 20 Riverhead kids, who are homeless or in foster care, on a Christmas Eve shopping spree. 

The children, she said, will be able to pick out new toys and clothes. The event will take place on Monday from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Kmart in Riverhead.

Goodale, who lives in Flanders, will be accompanied by her husband Bobby and sons Jesse, 14, and Jared, 12; Santa, Mrs. Claus, elves and Santa's helpers will also be onhand. Each child will receive three new school outfits, underwear, outerwear, and one or two toys.

"Earlier in life I was that kid -- the one that went without," Goodale said. "And I am living proof that with perseverance you can go from welfare to philanthropy."

Goodale said she hopes to instill the tradition of giving back in her sons. "We were taught to serve others," she said. "The thought behind this activity is that when much is given, much is expected -- and the reason for the season is that a child was born and died for us."

The Goodales have long been known in Riverhead for their philanthropy. Each year, Goodale, who has most recently been seen on the TLC reality show special, "Four Houses: Deck the Halls," has taken kids on holiday shopping trips. Through their company, Goodale Productions, the Goodales support safe houses for battered women and their children in memory of Goodale's sister, Tara L. Stevens, who was murdered in 2003 by an abusive husband.

In addition, the Goodales  to raise funds to support scholarships for local students. Currently, the Goodales support approximately 80 college students with scholarships, book stipends, and/or clothing grants. 

The couple also partners with the Ecumenical Missionaries to provide prenatal care, parenting skills and supplies to unwed mothers and aid to the children of prostitutes.

Goodale, an actress and singer, most recently performed in a jazz play at Birdland in New York City and appeared in a European touring company of "The Wiz." She also appeared in an Off-Broadway production, "Outpost of Progress," and was assistant director and actor in "Clean Sheets Can't Soil."



dapper1dandy December 21, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yeah very nice but she can definetly afford to do this for 100 kids!
Jaguar-Guy December 21, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Very nice story. Thank goodness.
Riverheader December 22, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Ask the kids that were promised "scholarships" that never came or the many who never received the money they were promised at her ego driven award nights presentations or Peconic Bay Medical that never saw dime one of her million dollar pledge what kind of "philanthropist" she is.
anna cast December 23, 2012 at 03:37 PM
God bless her and her family, we need more people like them in this country. Cece
Cheryl Duncan January 18, 2013 at 01:31 AM
As Dhonna’s rep I felt that I should respond. While many are headed home to embark on their holiday activities on Christmas Eve, the Goodales are headed out to give to others. They have organized these shopping sprees for many years to brighten the lives of children in need. That’s in addition to their support of approximately 60 young people who they award scholarships to each year (and previous recipients who are given book stipends or graduates who receive wardrobe stipends); any young people who submit their paperwork by the deadline receive their awards. They also support programs for domestic abuse and provide support to the children of the ladies of the night through a program with Ecumenical Missionaries as well as GED and job training programs for teen mothers. And Dhonna’s actually given MORE THAN $1 million to the hospital for the maternity unit and emergency room. The Goodales’ good works are plentiful, even exemplary, and most appreciated by those whose lives they are working to change.
Shirley M. Crump February 01, 2013 at 05:09 AM
Just seeing this story...For the goodness that is given to others, may Dhonna & her family be given back blessings of goodness in their lives...Thank God for hearts that are big enough to CARE about others in this way...While everyone may not have the resource of money to help others this way, EVERYONE, has something that they can give, be it your time, prayers, skills or compassion...ALL is needed & all are blessings of God working through His people...


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