It’s one thing for Spokane people to come to the aid of one another, but it’s rather humbling when immigrant residents and foreign visitors open their hearts and wallets to help provide Christmas relief to some of our own.
Long Phan and his family, 4057 E. Second, sent $40 to The SpokesmanReview Christmas Fund as “my way of saying ‘Thank you.’ My family came from Viet Nam five years ago. We have many blessings to count. People help us. Now, we want to help others (with this) little gift for a Merry Christmas. God bless all of you.”
And the 157 students and staff of Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute contributed to the Christmas Fund, as they have in years past.
Along with some of his students, Hiroshi Takaoka, the institute’s executive vice president, delivered $515 in checks, some signed with beautiful Japanese characters. “This is a small but heartfelt gesture … to show their appreciation to the community,” Takaoka wrote in an accompanying letter.
The two gifts helped bring Wednesday’s total to $11,823.27, for a year-to-date sum of $138,014.72.
A bare-bones goal of $380,000 has been set to assist the thousands of poor people who line up day after day requesting help at the Christmas Bureau. The bureau closes Dec. 22 - eight short days from now. That means another $242,000 must arrive by then if we’re to meet the goal.
So far, 1,136 contributors have given to the Christmas Fund.
It’s getting close, both in terms of time and money. Won’t you please do what you can to help? Today? Don’t wait for Christmas to come.
If you, your company or your group can contribute, please remember these basic facts:
Every cent of your gift goes only to its intended purpose. Nothing is deducted for overhead expenses.
The newspaper only collects the money, and gives it entirely to the three non-profit agencies that operate the Christmas Bureau: The Volunteers of America, the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities.
Your gift is tax deductible.
Families in need receive food vouchers to help offset the expense of Christmas groceries, and a toy or game for each child who is 18 or younger.
Your gift helps make sure no one has to go without a little something for Christmas.
The Mukogawa students who so generously gave will soon return to Japan after 14 weeks in Spokane, studying English and American culture. Through home stays and community activities, they have also learned “the value of open-minded friendship and volunteership of the Spokane community people,” Takaoka said.
An anonymous donor gave $3,000 to the Christmas cause with this note: “Thank you for allowing us to help so many this Christmas. We pray for strength and peace of God’s love for all.”
Another anonymous giver upped her annual contribution by $100 and sent a check for $500; giving $300 was Bob and Gerry Conrad, 2007 N. Hemlock in memory of Vernon Stum, who died last May; and Lindsay Soft Water, 1819 E. Sprague, with this note from Bob Schneider, president: “Hope this makes someone’s Christmas and holiday season better. If it does a little bit of good, that’s great for us, also.”
Sixth-grade students at Arlington Elementary, 6363 N. Smith, held a bake sale to earn $234.31, which they gave to the fund. Giving $200 were the Peters, 6105 N. Felts; Inland Empire Drywall Co., 5105 E. Railroad; Dr. and Mrs. Donald Canaday, 1714 E. South Ridge; Ed Baker, 3807 E. Funk; and members of FOCAS, Fellowship of Christian Adult Singles.
Members of the Belles and Bells Quartet gave $200, adding this: “We enjoy playing our bells for shut-ins at this season and also are happy to share with others less fortunate than we are. We are glad to contribute to a worthy cause where all the money goes to the needy.”
The Queen Bee Bowling League gave $200, along with an anonymous $200 gift, accompanied with a separate $25 check.
Mead High School English students sent $180 “in the hope that all Spokane children will be able to celebrate the holiday.” The Boart Longyear Co. of Salt Lake City donated $175 on behalf of its Otis Orchards branch. Giving $150 were Bob and M.J. Riegel, 5025 N. Argonne Lane, with this: “We hope this will add more ‘fun’ in your wonderful fund.” Jack and Jean Crabb, Cheney, wrote, “When our large family was young, we didn’t have much money, but the kids still talk about the great Christmases we had. Now that our finances are better, we hope this will make other little ones talk about their great Christmas.”
An anonymous $150 gift was sent along with “Merry Christmas and many blessings to all of you in the new year.” Another anonymous donor gave $140.
Contributing $100 were Bob and Dee Griffith, 4801 S. Bella Vista; Paul and Jeanie May, Greenacres; Rovella Vawter, Spokane; Bonnie and Bud Nelson, 537 E. Regina Road; Heart Clinics Northwest, 122 W. Seventh; Hazel Haynes, 4047 S. Helena, with: “If only each town or city could take care of its own all year round! What a blessing that would be.”
Other $100 gifts came from Russ; Lyle and Faye Billow and Henry and Margaret Kinzer; Spokane Urology, 5901 N. Lidgerwood; Hal and Kathy Holtz, 5118 S. Helena; M. Lewis, Veradale; Safeguard business Forms & Systems, 617 N. Helena; Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Meenach, 1331 E. Club Court, with this note: “It’s a pleasure to give to a fund that goes 100 percent to the needy. Thank you for all those donating their time.”
Don and Patty Etten of Country Companies, mutual and casualty insurance, 13903 E. Sprague; Marge Kerwin, 4326 S. Napa, who wrote: “Both of us are extremely grateful for a year of good health and a wonderful family and beautiful friends.”
Other $100 gifts came from Eileen Wise, 919 W. Wedgewood, in memory of her husband, Richard C. Wise, who died Nov. 15; and six anonymous donors, including one who gave in memory of a brother, David; and another who said giving is his “small way of showing appreciation” for his blessings and trying to share some of his good fortune.
G.H. Smith, 6002 S. Stone; and Mr. and Mrs. Ted Carl, 2914 E. 32nd, each gave $75; Dr. Ron Ellingsen and Dr. Jim Ellingsen, 9915 N. Division, gave $70 on behalf of their staff. Billie Secor, who was “down on her luck” during Christmases past, sent $60 “to help someone who otherwise would be strapped for a delicious Christmas dinner or gifts for the children.”
Also sending $60 was Chuck, Charlene, Enola, Ceci, Janie, Trudy and LuWaana, eastern area personnel of the Department of Social and Health Services.