Christmas Fund details
The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund exists because of the generous donations of the newspaper's readers and area businesses. From Thanksgiving to Dec. 30, the paper accepts donations and publishes articles listing everyone who participates.
Then, through the expert coordination of Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America, the money is used to open The Christmas Bureau for two weeks in December. The money buys thousands of high-quality toys in January when prices are low. The charities coordinate to gather and train more than 200 volunteers who help make the bureau run smoothly.
Needy families can come to the bureau, held at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center (404 N. Havana) to pick out a toy and a book for each of their children for Christmas Day. In addition, each household receives a grocery-store voucher to stock the cupboards for the holidays.
The result is an opportunity for people in the greater Inland Northwest community to take care of their less-fortunate neighbors. It's a vast undertaking, and one that hopes to make the holiday a bit brighter for those in need.
How do I donate?
Donations may be sent to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 516, Spokane, WA 99210; delivered to the lobbies of Spokesman-Review offices in downtown Spokane (999 W. Riverside Ave.) or Coeur d'Alene (608 Northwest Blvd.). Please mark prominently, CHRISTMAS FUND.
Can I donate online?
Yes you can. Just click on the PayPal button at right, and you'll be able to choose an amount to donate via credit card. If you choose this method of payment, a small percentage goes to PayPal for Internet billing services. When you send in a check to The Christmas Fund, as described above, none of the donation goes to processing.
If you'd like us to send you a receipt for your donation, make sure to include your mailing address in PayPal's comment box. If you'd like a receipt via e-mail, just include a valid e-mail address. In either case, we won't share your information with anyone or use it for any other reason. And feel free to use the comment box to tell us anything you'd like.
How do I qualify?
There are no income specifications for Bureau recipients. Anyone who thinks they need the help can get it as long as they meet ID requirements:
- Adults must bring photo ID for themselves and every person living in the household older than 18, plus their latest utility bill, telephone bill or rent receipt showing their name and current physical address for all adults. (No PO boxes.)
- For children bring a signed, dated letter from school/daycare or social service agency indicating number of dependents in the household as well as their names, dates of birth and where they live. Letters from DSHS or WIC folders are also accepted.
- Note: Social Security cards are NOT valid identification for the Christmas Bureau.
Where is The Christmas Bureau?
The Bureau again will be held at The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, at 404 N. Havana, in the Ag Building.
When is it open?
Wednesday, Dec. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 13, then again from Monday, Dec. 15, through Friday, Dec. 19. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day. EXCEPT opening day Dec. 10, when hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Christmas Bureau provides help for the holidays
Dec. 18, 2014 in City on Page A1 After paying rent on her apartment, Jennifer Loureiro has to stretch about $920 from her monthly income as a full-time dish washer to pay the bills. Diapers alone cost $40. … 3
Teddy bears from Chiefs game ready for hugs at Christmas Bureau
Dec. 17, 2014 in City on Page A1 Affectionately dubbed the Teddy Bear Queen, one of Fern Swecker’s favorite jobs at the Christmas Bureau is sorting more than 6,000 teddy bears and stuffed animals that will be snuggled … 3
Recipient who went into early labor praises workers at Christmas Bureau
Dec. 16, 2014 in City on Page A1 As Rebecca Gauna waited in line at the Christmas Bureau on Friday, she thought the cramps she felt were just pains common to pregnancy. She isn’t due until Jan. 19. … 1
Christmas Bureau visitors learn about range of resources at Spokane County libraries
GED students dig deep to give
Dec. 14, 2014 in City on Page A1 Each family that receives gifts for their children at the Christmas Bureau has a story. So do the donors who give generously to ensure every Spokane-area child has something nice … 2
Bureau organizers foresee success as charity lines diminish with decline in poverty
Dec. 13, 2014 in City on Page A1 There are only 12 days until Christmas. While an old English Christmas carol lyrically describes fantastical gift giving over 12 days, in Spokane, holiday magic happens in 10 at the … 3
Christmas Bureau a boost for mother making fresh start
Dec. 12, 2014 in City on Page A1 When Keneisha Jenkins moved to Spokane this fall with her children, she wanted to get safely away from the man who’d broken a no-contact order after escalating physical abuse and … 2
Parents make new memories with kids at Christmas Bureau
Dec. 11, 2014 in City on Page A1 At 4 months old, it’s Ellie Moore’s first Christmas. She hasn’t learned about Santa and presents yet, but her mother Brandy Moore, 19, wants to give the baby something special, … 6
Spokane Christmas Bureau opens with gifts, food vouchers today
Dec. 10, 2014 in City on Page A1 At the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, a warehouse has been transformed into a captivating Christmas store. The book tables are stacked. The toy room is stocked. Live entertainment …
Valley school donates pajamas to Christmas Bureau
Dec. 9, 2014 in City on Page A1 Christmas is a time of traditions. From decorations to music, food to gift giving, some traditions are common, others specific to each family. In some homes, for example, each child …
Longtime friends volunteer at Christmas Bureau
Dec. 8, 2014 in City on Page A1 Ron and Carole Thaxton have been going out to lunch or dinner with their friends and neighbors, Jim and Alaine Qualls, for three decades. At Christmastime, one of those shared …
Christmas Bureau eases strapped parents’ stress
Dec. 7, 2014 in City on Page A1 Jennifer Taylor first heard about the Christmas Bureau in 1997. As a newly single mom with a 3-year-old and a baby, she’d just moved back to Spokane and was struggling … 1
9-year-old gives her allowance to Christmas Bureau
Dec. 6, 2014 in City on Page A1 The penciled handwriting on the envelope was neat, the kind that would earn an A in penmanship. The note and cash inside earn an A in compassion. “Here’s my donation … 1
Couple make volunteering at bureau ‘our Christmas pretty much’
Dec. 5, 2014 in City on Page A1 For more than a decade Glen and Barbara Shaw have centered their Christmas season on charity, the sound of happy “Thank you’s” filling their hearts as they help needy families …
Christmas Bureau’s buyers bargain hunters
Dec. 4, 2014 in City on Page A1 The Christmas Bureau toy buyers had a lengthy shopping list. Stand-up kitchenettes and nursery sets, electronic keyboards and guitars, sporting equipment, scooters and skateboards, dolls and remote control cars, makeup … 1
Restaurant crews give to Christmas Fund with a smile
Dec. 3, 2014 in City on Page A1 When Gage Lee serves customers at Frank’s Diner in downtown Spokane, it’s obvious why she’s won awards for excellent service. She’s quick and capable, taking orders and refilling cups of … 7
Donations to Christmas Bureau were fitting tribute to teacher
Dec. 2, 2014 in City on Page A1 As a speech therapist and kindergarten teacher, Megan Brinson knew the importance of books and reading. “She really felt that literacy was the key for kids,” said her daughter, Taryn …
Some donate to the Christmas Bureau even after the holiday season is over
Dec. 1, 2014 in City on Page A1 Each year the Christmas Bureau aims to raise enough funds by Christmas to cover the costs of the toys, books and food vouchers distributed to more than 9,000 needy households …
Family makes a tradition of helping others at Christmas Bureau
Nov. 30, 2014 in City on Page A1 The first time Matt and Jamie Utesch volunteered at the Christmas Bureau with their mom, Theresa, they were teens working to meet the community service requirement for honor roll. That … 2
Mom’s giving nature a legacy
Nov. 29, 2014 in City on Page A1 Janet Lydig loved to decorate and dress for holidays, from Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day to Halloween and Thanksgiving. But Christmas was her favorite. She knit 20 stockings, one … 1