December 1, 1996 in Nation/World

Christmas Fund 1996 Jones & Mitchell Helps Ensure Joy In Times Of Trouble, Character Shines Bright

Beverly Vorpahl Staff writer
 
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Adversity, it’s said, builds character.

Surely, by now, Inland Northwest residents have stellar character. After all, this part of our country is populated with hearty souls. We survived Mount St. Helens. We’re surviving the ice storm.

It’s just that the timing is so bad.

Seeing through the ice storm and into the spirit of Christmas is the firm of Jones & Mitchell, Insurance & Risk Management, 123 E. Second.

Robert J. Jones hand-delivered a check for $2,000 to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund.

In an accompanying letter from the partners and staff, Jones wrote: “We hope that this contribution, along with the many others from businesses and individuals in the Spokane area, will brighten the Christmas holiday for many of the less-fortunate families in Spokane.

“The need for even a bigger Christmas Fund this year is enhanced by our recent ice storm, which has created shortages in many agencies.”

Thank you, Bob Jones. You are an inspiration.

Jones & Mitchell’s gift brings Saturday’s Christmas Fund total to $4,064.51, for a year-to-date balance of $5,449.51.

This year’s goal is $400,000. That is the bare minimum needed to fill the thousands of requests for Christmas help.

As tough as it’s been these past few days, we cannot allow ourselves to become jaded. We must keep the “bah-humbug” syndrome from creeping into this Christmas season, no matter how cranky the circumstances make us.

Today, it may feel unimportant, even trivial, to think about a child not having a toy to unwrap on Christmas morning. “Who cares,” you might mutter. But come Dec. 25, we’ll care when that child is crushed to discover Santa didn’t make it to his or her house. The child doesn’t know about ice storms; he or she only knows about Christmas and the joy it’s suppose to bring.

Donating to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund is an easy enough way to help others while you continue to battle Mother Nature’s heavy-handedness. All it takes is to write a check and drop it in the mail.

The Christmas Fund is in its 51st year of helping our low-income neighbors enjoy a merrier holiday than they could were there no such fund.

As always, the newspaper serves only as a conduit to collect the money, which is given entirely to three non-profit agencies that operate the Christmas Bureau.

Low-income families go to the bureau with proof of residency and the size of their families. Parents then select a new toy for each of their children under 19, and receive a food voucher to help pay for holiday groceries.

The toys are new, the kind kids painstakingly print on their wish lists to mail to Santa. The food vouchers vary from $10 to $40, depending on family size.

That may not seem like much, but for some, it’s all they’ll have.

And with this year’s severe storm, we’ll no doubt see an influx of those who need help.

That’s why we are asking for your help. There is so much money to raise and so little time: $400,000 in 24 days, less Saturday’s total.

We realize asking for money now might be annoying, considering what the community is experiencing.

But we can’t wait for the weather to clear to tell the need of those who are out of work, ill, elderly, who have been “downsized” out of a job, who are single parents, seasonal workers, students trying to better themselves, strangers in this country …

The fund is off to a good start, with the Jones & Mitchell contribution and latearriving donations from last year, which will help the 1996 Christmas Fund.

The late Clarence Colby contribution this year was a big boost. When this philanthropist died in 1981, he established a memorial fund to help the Christmas Fund for years to come.

This year, the pharmacist and photographer’s trust donated $1,174.51 to help Christmas retain its wonder for innocent children.

Other contributions in Saturday’s total include $240 from Burlington Northern, matching funds of employee Tony Tecca; $200 from Carol and H. Douglas Spruance III, Spokane; $200 from Richard and Cindy Algeo, 1208 E. 42nd; $100 from Gordon A.A. Smith, a Spokane businessman who mailed his check last year from Palm Desert, Calif.; $100 from Leslie and Helen Sederstrom, Spokane; and an anonymous donation from former Spokane residents who wrote: “Even though we no longer live in the area, we value the work that your fund does.”

Even though the weather outside has been dreadful and your house inside might well be cold, please give serious thought to all you have to be thankful for and how fortunate all of us really are.

And then remember the poor among us, those who will be so grateful for anything you can give to help them and their children enjoy Christmas.

, DataTimes


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