Corporate America is sometimes depicted as a cold, faceless, glass-and-steel entity. We forget that it is people who run those companies and that those people are our neighbors.
The owners and staff of Jones & Mitchell Insurance & Risk Management, 123 E. Second, showed the caring side of their very serious business with a generous check.
Kelly Greenwood wrote, “With pleasure we give you our check for $2,000 to help kick off the 1995 Christmas Fund, which has been a wonderful tradition for Spokane. We hope this gift, plus those of the many businesses and families who will be giving similarly, will help brighten the holidays for many in Spokane.
“On behalf of the owners of Jones & Mitchell and our entire staff, thank you for continuing to sponsor this fine program.”
Besides Greenwood, the letter carried the signatures of Spike Lynch, Dwight B. Aden, Jim Brown, Bob Jones, Rich Merritt and Dana L. Grant.
The company’s $2,000 contribution was a most-welcome gift to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund. It provided nearly half of Tuesday’s total of $4,120, making a running total so far this year of $9,111.81.
It takes large donations that only companies can give to help make the Christmas Fund successful.
For 50 years, the Christmas Fund has been a community affair. It helps those among us who have a hard time helping themselves enjoy the holiday a little more.
But, like the mix that makes Spokane the city it is, the fund relies on the combination of successful businesses, like Jones & Mitchell, and individuals with few dollars to share but who still want to help. Like the anonymous $5 check obviously sent from an elderly woman. Her gift might very well represent as much a sacrifice as a company’s large contribution.
Each gift helps and each counts.
What matters is that Spokane cares.
Just as people give businesses their personalities, it’s the residents who give Spokane its personality.
Spokane citizens and corporations are known for their generosity. We care deeply. When disaster strikes, the city responds quickly.
And, at Christmastime every year, all of Spokane rallies to make sure no one is left disappointed during a time hyped with hopeful anticipation.
A woman who wished to be anonymous mailed a $500 check that will make such a difference this season in the lives of several families she does not know. She wrote: “It is once again time to help bring a little more cheer to those in need.”
Even those new to our city are struck by the goodness that can be accomplished when everyone pulls together.
The Southside Newcomers contributed $200, which came with a letter from Caroline Hedges, treasurer: “It is a wonderful undertaking that you do so that so many families can have a joyous Christmas. We are delighted to be able to have a part in it each year.”
Col. and Mrs. Dick Calta, 7814 E. Timber Ridge Lane, sent $50 with this note: “We’re new to the area. We think this is a very worthwhile project and we’d like to contribute to someone’s happiness.”
One woman requesting anonymity sent $200; another gave $150.
Dan and Suzie Aga, 5706 W. Dorothy Court, sent $100 with this message: “Sometimes those of us who have been blessed forget to thank God every day for our blessings. We are not rich, but God continually blesses our family in many ways, so we would like to share with those less fortunate.”
Mr. and Mrs. Howard Young, 823 W. Holland, opted to “donate to your wonderful Christmas Fund” instead of exchanging gifts with one another this year. Tim, Cami, Andy and Jeremy Schmidt, Valleyford, sent Merry Christmas wishes with their gift of $100. Charlotte Sullivan, 4419 W. Elderberry, sent $100 in memory of Charles McCoy and John Sullivan.
There were two anonymous gifts of $100, including one “made in thanksgiving for God’s blessings to us. We are glad to be able to help others this year.”
Donald and Virginia Boyles, 10515 E. 48th, sent $75; Evelyn I. Phillips, 11314 E. Mission, gave $50 “in hopes of making Christmas happier for a few - bless you for asking us to remember others.” An anonymous gift of $50 was also received.
Eleanor Limmer, Liberty Lake, sent $30 “for the gratitude we feel and the joy of giving.” Others sending $30 were Victor L. Wuff, 1221 W. 22nd; and Jane C. Skindlov, 1917 E. 40th.
Giving $25 were Ida Kinservik, Reardan; George Baldini, 12005 E. Eighth; Charles E. Bulley, 3308 N. Sipple Road; and an anonymous donor.
Mrs. Alvin Bakken, 5924 N. Whitehouse, sent $20; David and Robin Deutsch, 1110 W. Nebraska, $10; and two anonymous $10 gifts were received, one with the note: “Thanks so much for all you do to help make Christmas a blessing for others.”
The Spokesman-Review, with its tower of caring employees, serves as a collection spot for the money that is given to the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America.
Officials from the three non-profit agencies operate the Christmas Bureau, buy and distribute the gifts to low-income families: a present for each child (18 or younger) in the family and a food voucher.
One recurring theme we hear from donors is appreciation that nothing is ever deducted from any gift to pay for overhead expenses. Everything about the Christmas Fund and Bureau is donated - the building which houses the bureau, the volunteers who operate it, as well as the salaries of those who work on the fund in any manner.
Not to cause anyone undue alarm, but there are only 26 days until Christmas - 26 days to raise $371,000 to meet the Christmas Fund goal of $380,000.
To reach that amount, requires $14,269.23 each day from now until Christmas. (Now you can be alarmed.)
Please think about how fortunate we are to live in Spokane. Remember what it is that makes this such a good city. And please do what you can to help others this Christmas.