Children understand one another so well. Babies love to “visit” with other babies. Tots readily become acquainted with one another.
And when one child learns that another might not have a gift to open on Christmas morning because his family is poor, the first little one knows exactly what to do.
At least the children in two Spokane families did.
Denise Nokes, 10703 N. Mayberry Drive, was reading her sons an article about The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, when Jason, 4-1/2, jumped up and ran to his room. His mom found him with a handful of “moneys,” she wrote.
“Can I give them seven of these?” Jason asked.
When they counted out 76 cents, Denise told Jason how special he was.
“Yes, I know this is very special of me,” he said, walking away sporting a big grin.
Later, he had his mom write: “This money is to help buy clothes and presents and to help someone have a fun and special Christmas.” He signed the letter in his little-boy scrawl.
And, on the other side of town, two girls, 5 and 3 years old, counted out their savings, money they judiciously saved from their allowance, and gave more than half of what they had to the Christmas Fund.
The girls’ mom had told them about the fund, how people were contributing money to buy gifts for children whose parents can’t afford to give them much at Christmas.
The two girls knew what needed to be done.
Children helping children.
Can there be anything sweeter?
Their gifts - Jason’s 76 cents, plus his parents’ $25, and the $109.31 from the girls whose mother requested anonymity - helped bring Friday’s total to $5,306.07, for a year-to-date amount of $76,548.95.
Each of Jason’s precious pennies and the girls’ donated dollars will go exactly for what they intended. Now, other children will be able to open a toy or game Christmas morning, and their parents will receive a food voucher to help make dinner a little more special.
None of the money received is used for overhead expenses.
If you give $1,000, like Elaine Dishman, 2307 S. Forest Estates Drive, did, be assured the entire $1,000 will be used to help bring Christmas cheer to our neighbors in need.
Her gift is in memory of her husband, Jack W. Dishman, who died last year.
Laborers’ Local 238, 1330 N. Calispel, sent a check for $500; and the board of directors and membership of the Spokane Chapter of Structural Engineers Association of Washington, sent $200 “to brighten the Christmas season for families and individuals who are less fortunate financially.” The letter was signed by David Kliewer, secretary-treasurer.
Others sending $200 were Hugh and Dotte Everhart, 6935 N. Douglass, who said, “Thank God we can donate to this wonderful fund”; D.A. Jenkins, Veradale; and an anonymous giver.
The JRM Tobacco Station, 1831 W. Mission, gave $150 with this note: “We are a relatively new business and this is our first contribution to the Christmas Fund. We thank our many customers for their patronage and wish everyone a Merry Christmas and most joyous holiday season.” The letter was signed by Jim McGranahan, Mike Lax, Frank and Georgia Harris, Mike Gibbons and Suzette Hamilton.
There was also an anonymous gift of $150. Giving $100 were Mr. and Mrs. Chet Jahns, Rockford; Mr. and Mrs. William D. Johnson, 312 W. Hastings; Edna Gump, 312 W. Hastings Road; Morris and Lucille Slavens, 1927 W. Fairview; Hal and Joann Hayes, Liberty Lake; Mr. and Mrs. Al Schaeffer, 11605 N. Whitehouse; Jack and Verla Rigsby, 10530 N. Overview Drive; John M. and Janet L. Gray, “in loving memory of Mabel Blakely (Janet’s mother) who died recently.”
Sarah L. and Frank Wasicek Jr. sent their annual gift to the Christmas Fund - $100 - “in the memory of our very special Uncle Warren W. Smith … a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, not to mention the best-ever fantastic uncle.”
Other $100 donations came from Robert F. Goldsworthy, 1224 W. Riverside; Robert and Lucy Jydstrup, 9322 E. Cataldo; and Arnold and Mardell Muth, 8620 N. Forest Blvd., who wrote: “Local programs administered by local people are the most effective.”
Ramey Construction, 5930 N. Freya, gave $100, as did the 106 members of Crystal Chandeliers, a ballroom dance club, who “joyfully share … so others may benefit.” Roy and Eris Heggen, E11318 25th; Debbie Cozzeto, 5608 E. 31st; an anonymous donor, and Penelope Moore, Nine Mile Falls, who wrote:
“I have a granddaughter (Holly Mae McLellan) who will receive lots of toys this Christmas and I want others to, also.”
An anonymous gift of $80 was made “in honor of Les and Margie Harder, who gave so much to so many throughout the year.”
Giving $50 was Charlie and Ruth Garriott, Nine Mile Falls; Doris Enzler, Chattaroy; Rose and Tony Stelzner, 11214 N. Whitehouse, “in honor of my husband’s parents (Rose and Tony Stelzner), who are the best inlaws any wife could have.”
Betty and Dick Krumland gave $50 “to make someone’s Christmas just a little brighter”; S. and J. Holden, 9717 N. Navaho Court; Marian, who gave no last name, sent $50 “for the children and others that need help at this time.” Dorothy Warrick, Spokane, did the same “in memory of Jerry Camp.”
Maurice and Gerry Hickey, 5804 N. Fleming, gave $50 with the note: “This is what makes Spokane such a very special city.”
The Retired Railway Mail Clerks collected $39; giving $25 were Gary and Carol Crigger, 5510 N. Rees Court; Arthur and Anna Colyar, 3231 W. Boone, whose card was signed: “Frohe Weihnachten”; Vicki and Donald Gorder, 10011 N. Comanche Drive; and John and Doris Hodgson, 12102 S. Player Drive.
Also giving $25 were Malcolm S. Davis, Liberty Lake; Dan and Mary Ann Bond, 2717 W. Courtland; Katherine Bartleson, in memory of Jerry Camp, a neighbor at Rockwood Retirement Community; and an anonymous donor. Bill and Billie Kidwell, 5536 N. Drumheller, gave $15 in Jerry Camp’s memory.
Brad Smith and Carol Christnacht, 11813 E. 37th, have given to the Christmas Fund ever since they married. “This year our toddlers (B.J., 3, and CoJo, 2) wanted to donate some of their money, so $2 of our ($12) contribution is theirs,” they wrote.
J.C. and Jerry Priano, 2109 W. Providence, gave $10, as did Kathleen Winters, Cheney, and an anonymous donor.