Christmas Bureau 2016
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.
Latest Christmas Fund stories
UPDATED: Wed., Jan. 11, 2017, 4:50 p.m.
Garco Construction donated $28,000 to the Christmas Fund
Garco Construction generously donated $28,000 to the 2016 Christmas Fund, but was inadvertently left off the list of donors. The omission doesn’t change the near-record total of $540,073.39 raised to …
Sun., Jan. 1, 2017, midnight
Rush of donations pushes Christmas Fund over goal
Once again, the Spokane community has banded together to provide assistance, joy and dignity to those less fortunate during the holiday season. A flood of donations over the past week …
Sun., Dec. 25, 2016, midnight
Christmas Fund still looks to meet goal
Thanks to the Christmas Bureau, many less-fortunate children in our community will sit by the Christmas tree and open a new gift Sunday morning. And while Christmas will soon be …
Sat., Dec. 24, 2016, midnight
Christmas Fund falling short of goal but there’s still time to give
The vast majority of every dollar donated to the Christmas Fund goes directly to help individuals and families in need.
Fri., Dec. 23, 2016, 6:30 a.m.
During a tough season, Christmas Fund boosted volunteer
Anita Lamp, 75, has been a Christmas Bureau volunteer for 17 years. Even after her husband died last November, she showed up to help when the bureau opened in December.
Thu., Dec. 22, 2016, 7 a.m.
Christmas Fund in danger of missing goal
The Christmas Fund has a long way to go before it hits its fundraising goal, and with Christmas right around the corner, the possibility of hitting the goal looks increasingly …
Wed., Dec. 21, 2016, midnight
Little girl with a big heart wants Christmas to be special for other children
Every year, 8-year-old Emmeline Hirt has a short Christmas list. Since she was 4, she has asked Santa to give her presents to kids whose parents can’t afford any. In …
Tue., Dec. 20, 2016, 4:30 a.m.
Christmas Bureau makes life a little less difficult for families
The Christmas Bureau helped Lonnie Adams, 52, provide for his family this Christmas. Adams, a forklift operator, has helped raise five children who aren’t his biological kids.
Mon., Dec. 19, 2016, midnight
With $215,865 needed for Christmas Fund, Catholic Charities director expresses faith in community support
Although this year’s Christmas Bureau has come to an end, donations from the community still are needed to help those in need. The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, which pays for the …
Sun., Dec. 18, 2016, midnight
Long line files through Christmas Bureau on final day
The line was long at the Christmas Bureau on its final day. “We really had a very busy final day, and I’m really glad we were able to serve so …
Sat., Dec. 17, 2016, 5:25 a.m.
On-site child care helps protect the magic of the season at the Christmas Bureau
Jan Staeheli taught preschool and kindergarten for 37 years. She’s retired now, but continues to work with children as a volunteer in the child care area at the Christmas Bureau, …
Fri., Dec. 16, 2016, midnight
The Christmas Bureau brightens the holiday for family with premature baby
First-time dad Josh Kiser got quite the birthday present when he turned 36. It was a beautiful baby boy. He was named Jackson.
Thu., Dec. 15, 2016, 6:25 a.m.
Woman finds her plush gorilla and a place to volunteer at the Christmas Bureau
A gorilla brought Jenny Edgren to the Christmas Bureau. The saga started in Long Island, New York, where Edgren was living when a friend gave her the plush gorilla in …
Wed., Dec. 14, 2016, 6 a.m.
Arby’s has kept Christmas Bureau volunteers fed for 20 years
Just as the generous donations of community members pay for the Christmas Bureau each year, in-kind donations from businesses keep hard-working volunteers fueled while they provide a happier holiday for …
Tue., Dec. 13, 2016, midnight
Christmas Bureau also makes holiday merrier for adults without children in the home
The Christmas Bureau is meant to make the holiday better for everyone, not just families with children. Adults, many of whom are seniors, or are disabled or homeless, don’t go …
Sun., Dec. 11, 2016, 4:26 p.m.
Woman, 80, turns to Christmas Bureau for her foster children
Mary Robins, 80, recently picked out presents for her foster girls at the Christmas Bureau, an annual event that provides grocery vouchers, toys, books and more to thousands of people …
Sat., Dec. 10, 2016, 6:46 p.m.
From the hockey ice to the Christmas Bureau, teddy bears a ‘soft embrace’
For kids, a teddy bear can be so much more than a toy – a best friend, a confidant, a source of comfort and joy. On Saturday, the Spokane Chiefs …
Sat., Dec. 10, 2016, midnight
Local companies make the Christmas Bureau run smoother through in-kind donations
The line at the Christmas Bureau can get long, but recipients are treated to musical entertainment as they wait by a variety of performers who donate their talents to make …
Fri., Dec. 9, 2016, midnight
Christmas Bureau gave books and toys for 2,260 children as the Spokane charity opens its doors to those in need
The Christmas Bureau served 1,121 households and 4,109 people on its first day of operation. Books and toys were provided to 2,260 children.
Thu., Dec. 8, 2016, midnight
Christmas Bureau opens to help families with food and Christmas gifts
The Christmas Bureau kicks off Thursday and runs through Dec. 17, providing grocery store gift certificates, toys, books, and more to thousands of those less fortunate during the holiday season.
Thu., Dec. 18, 2008, 6:55 p.m.
Christmas Bureau closed Friday
For the first time in the six-decade history of the Christmas Bureau, organizers closed the charity Thursday because of record snowfall. The bureau will remain closed Friday, organizers said, and …
2015 final: $526,172.65
Frequently Asked QuestionsHow do I donate?
Donations may be sent to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 516, Spokane, WA 99210 or delivered to the lobby of the Spokesman-Review at 999 W. Riverside Ave. Please mark prominently, CHRISTMAS FUND.Can I donate online?
Yes you can. Just click on the PayPal button above, 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?
- Eligibility: There are no income restrictions to participate, but you must bring specific information to the Fairgrounds.
- Bring: Photo ID for you and every person living with you who's 18 or older PLUS proof of current physical address for all adults. That means a power bill, rent receipt or phone bill showing a name at that address (No P.O. boxes). This is required for all adults. Social Security cards not valid as ID.
- For children: Something from their school or daycare for each child living at that address, showing their name, address and birth date. OR A document from DSHS or other social service agency verifying name, address and date of birth OR A WIC folder.
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?
Thursday, Dec. 8, through Saturday, Dec. 10, then again from Monday, Dec. 12, through Saturday, Dec. 17. Hours are 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day.