Advent, the four Sundays preceding Christmas, represents Hope, Peace, Love and Joy. Of these, peace may be the most difficult to define.
Most of us strive for inner peace, and we pray for world peace.
But, peace of mind is something tangible we can help provide for others at Christmas time.
Certainly that’s what Shea Construction, Inc., 331 N. Fancher Road and 14617 N. Newport Highway, has done with its $2,500 gift to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund.
David R. Shea, president, wrote: “With this check from Shea Construction, Inc., we hope that those who may not have been able to enjoy this holiday season may now do so.”
Peace of mind.
With that contribution, Saturday’s receipts totaled $11,275 for an ongoing sum of $87,823.95. The goal - a minimum amount to meet the needs - has been set at $380,000.
Every dollar given will go toward that goal and nothing else. There is no money deducted for overhead expenses. And each gift is taxdeductible since three non-profit agencies maintain the Christmas Bureau: the Volunteers of America, Salvation Army and Catholic Charities. The newspaper only collects the money.
On Monday morning, 1,000-plus people will be in search of that peace as they line up in front of 812 W. Main, the former Pay Less Drug Store on the street level of Riverpark Square.
They will be there, braving the cold, praying for the peace of mind that comes in the form of a food voucher to help pay for Christmas dinner and a toy or game for each of their children.
They will be families, moms and dads out of work; single moms with children trying to make it on their own; senior citizens whose Social Security checks simply will not provide extras; strangers to our country, unable to speak our language but whose children are only too aware of our Santa Claus; handicapped people; people without a roof to shelter them.
They will be our neighbors asking for our help.
By the thousands, they will visit the Christmas Bureau headquarters beginning Monday. The bureau will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, until Dec. 22.
Last year, 8,550 low-income families and single people received food vouchers, thanks to those who gave to the Christmas Fund. And, more importantly, 13,527 children received a new toy or game to call his or her own on Christmas.
There are so many of us in need, with little or no chance for peace of mind any time of the year, let alone Christmas.
Thanks to Shea Construction and all those who have given, and those who will yet give, Christmas peace of mind is within sight for those who have been worried sick in what is supposed to be such a happy time of year.
Lynn Jones, chief operating officer for LeMaster & Daniels, PLLC, put it so well in the letter accompanying the firm’s gift of $1,000:
“We have been sending a donation for many years to the Christmas Fund and each time we become more proud of what the Spokane community does for its people. I hope our small contribution brings a smile to some family faces.”
More likely, it will bring several smiles, if not downright grins.
Peace of mind.
Another company anonymously donated $1,000 to the fund.
Earl and Leona King, Spokane, sent $500 “in loving memory of Mother and Grandmother, Anne M. King, Nov. 1, 1896-Sept. 11, 1995. She is greatly missed.”
A heart-breaking letter with $500 from Dick and Beverly Olson, 9715 E. Shannon, told of the Olsons’ three children who all loved Christmas and who have all died.
“Christmas is a sad time for anyone who has lost a loved one. It seems even harder, if possible, when that person died at Christmas as did our daughter, Denise. We appreciate having the Christmas Fund as a way to remember her and our two other children, Janet and Dennis, who have also died.”
Dr. David W. Hanson, 12805 E. Sprague, sent $200, along with $50 from Jared and Zack Shulkin; others sending $250 were the Joneses of Newman Lake in memory of Marybell Clark; Helen and Doug Brajcich, Spokane, in memory of their son, Scott: “He so loved the joy and meaning of the Christmas season. We hope this donation brings as much joy to someone else’s life as Scott brought to ours. Christmas is a time to make memories and to keep the old ones alive.
“In Scott’s memory, we hope to help make Christmas brighter.”
This past week, several memorial gifts were given in memory of Jeremiah “Jerry” Camp Sr., who died Monday. Mr. Camp owned one of Spokane’s largest car dealerships.
Michael and Linda Jensen of Jensen Distribution Services, 314 W. Riverside, donated $250 to the Christmas Fund in memory of Camp, who “will be remembered through history as one of Spokane’s most dedicated entrepreneurs, and as a significant contributor to our region’s quality of life. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.”
Dan and Peggy Jeremiah gave $200 in the names of their grandchildren, Theresa, Travis and Tyler; others giving $200 were Bonnie Presnell, Cheney; Mr. and Mrs. E.B Humes, 1207 E. Lyons; anonymous; and the Spokane Lilac City Diabetic Club, which is dissolving. In dispersing their bank account, members elected to support the Christmas Fund, Toys for Tots and to buy 20 turkeys for the Spokane Food Bank.
Giving $150 was Jack and Pat Russell, 10815 E. 48th; Lorna Stevenson, 2615 E. Foxwood Drive; and an anonymous donor.
Donating $100 was V.F. Strange, 2924 E. 32nd; Jeanne Akers, 3008 W. Hoffman; Goldie Sargent, Mead, “in memory of my husband of 61 years who passed away Nov. 5. He is sadly missed, but is much happier now, I know.”
Dr. Thomas A. Driscoll, 4612 S. Magnolia; Nettie Herrman, 707 W. Fifth, in memory of her brother, George Herman, who always donated to the Christmas Fund; John and Peggy Hasstedt, Spokane, in memory of Jerry Camp; Maurice and Rosemary Twomey, 170 S. Coeur d’Alene; M.L. Harris, 1100 N. Superior; and seven anonymous donors.
Ron and Diane Kaufman, 5015 S. Woodfield Lane, gave $95; Kevin and Helen Paulson, 10321 E. Bigelow Gulch, $75. Those making gifts of $50 were Dona Hahner in memory of her son and daughter, Greg and Jill; Frank Bennett, 627 E. LaCrosse; and the Avonlea Adult Family Home in memory of Betty, Sybil and Dorothea.
Also donating $50 were Agnes and Carl Hoglin, 714 E. 31st; Mark Longmeier, 2702 S. Arthur; Glenn Spear, 2311 W. 16th; Darline Muggli, Veradale; Harold and L.D. Kafer, 8900 S. Mullen Hill Road; Virg Whipps, 530 E. Garland; Jacqueline Whipps, 108 E. Kiernan; Margaret Irving, Deer Park; Arlene and Kathleen Weinman, 5124 N. Vista Court; Scott Cooper, 110 E. 31st, “in loving memory of my mother, Linda Cooper” and two anonymous donors.
Giving $40 was Ralph Bemmel and Daphne Ashworth, Airway Heights; and the Chattaroy Sunshine Clover 4-H group, whose ages range from 5 to 12. They “would like others to have a nice Christmas.”
Two $35 gifts came from Margaret Hansen, 1105 N. Rudolf; and an anonymous donor; giving $30 were Gene and Debbie Boatsman “in memory of our son, Jason, and mother, Jeanette Boatsman, who passed away this year”; and Monte and Donna Madsen, 8207 N. Monroe, and their children, Ryan and Rachel, “in memory of our infant twin daughter and sister, Rebekah Madsen.”
Giving $25 were Jerry and Joanne Hubbard, Spokane; the McCoy family, Veradale; the Kenneys of Metaline Falls in memory of Jerry Camp; Marie Vedvik, 3424 N. Lee; Bob and Eunice Snyder, 2614 E. Foxwood, in memory of Jerry Camp; Cecil and Betty Innis, 13503 E. 25th; and Mable Rutherford, 3714 N. Edgerton.
More $25 gifts came from Richard Atwater, 309 E. 14th; Craig and Bev Brumfield, Cataldo, Idaho; Dorothy M. Evans, Veradale. There were four anonymous $25 gifts, one “in loving memory of my husband to help someone at Christmastime” and another in the names of Jack Thompson Thornton, Snooper Anderson and Buddy Foreman.
Two anonymous $20 gifts were received; Gary and Iva Borden, 15720 E. Longfellow, gave $10, as did Harry and Ruth Trumbo, 2611 N. Ella Road; and Emmett Jackman, 2123 E. Desmet; N. Polites, Post Falls, sent $5.
Shelly Fischer, 1738 N. Stone, sent $20 with this note:
“I remember as a child I never went without presents under the tree. I usually got what I asked for. I can’t imagine what to go without must feel like to a child at Christmastime. I never had to experience that. No child should. So, I hope this helps some.”
Peace of mind.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: CHRISTMAS FUND INFORMATION Mail or bring checks to: The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, Fourth Floor Newsroom, P.O. Box 516, Review Tower, 999 W. Riverside, Spokane, WA 99210. For those needing help: The Christmas Bureau at 812 W. Main will be open weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Dec. 22. Bring identification, proof of residence and proof of every family member (such as medical coupons) to the Christmas Bureau. Questions?: A voice-mail answering service has been established this year. If you have questions about the Christmas Fund, call 459-5426.