Local philanthropists take kids Christmas shopping

12/24/2012 1:06 PM |

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | Dhonna and Bobby Goodale, center, at Riverhead Kmart where they took a dozen children Christmas shopping Monday.

The diva philanthropist strikes again. Weeks after Dhonna Goodale of Flanders showcased her home’s holiday spirit on a TLC Christmas special, Ms. Goodale and family set out to do what they do best this Christmas Eve: give unto others.

On Monday, Ms. Goodale, her husband Bobby and their two children, visited Kmart in Riverhead to do Christmas shopping for local homeless and foster children in need, a ritual the family has carried out for the past 17 years.

More than a dozen children were present at the Riverhead store Monday to be reminded of the “reason for the season” and each received three school outfits, underwear, outerwear and a couple toys.

The kids also received $5 in cash, which Ms. Goodale instructed them to give to someone else in need.

“If you keep it then that’s on your conscience,” she told the children.

Ms. Goodale said she and her husband don’t exchange Christmas gifts at all.

“This is my Christmas, because I was one of these children,” she said. “For me, this is really, really very special.”

The Goodales were joined at the event by several volunteers, including educators and social workers. Even Mr. and Mrs. Claus and their elves helped with the shopping between 12 and 1:30 p.m.

“I don’t know what each of your situation is,” Ms. Goodale said to the children before they began to comb the aisles. “But I went from welfare to philanthropy and you can grow up and make a difference. Anything you want is obtainable.”

gvolpe@timesreview.com