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Christmas Fund 1996 Storm Kindness Moves Donors

Tue., Dec. 3, 1996

Our recent abominable weather caused many people to reflect and prioritize what is truly important to them.

I’ve never been so grateful for a snug, warm home in my life - as well as the snuggly down comforter that kept us warm during the long, dark night our house was without power.

At least two donors to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund were moved by the storm to remember our area’s poor this Christmas.

Their combined checks of $170 brought Monday’s total to $2,584, for a total thus far of $8,513.51 against our $400,000 goal.

Ruth Gruennert, 2011 S. Woodlawn, was moved to contribute $150 as “an expression of great appreciation to Doug Black, Elva Engeberg and Linda McClain, three of many used by God to dispense comfort, compassion and cooperation to me in this community’s days (and nights) of darkness.”

She also wrote, “I’m sure we all discovered during the recent unpleasantness that we may have been without electricity, but we were certainly not without power. The power of God’s love was expressed in so many ways in so many places by and to so many people that it boggles the mind!”

Like many of us, one woman who requested anonymity was reminded of her pioneering grandfather, who braved all kinds of weather as a matter of course during his lifetime. She gave $20 in honor of Martin Abbott, whose birthday would have been Monday, with this note:

“As I sit (last Friday), still without electricity, I am reminded of (my grandfather’s) way of life with no conveniences like we have in modern day. I appreciate his pioneering spirit and the happiness achieved through a simpler way of life.”

Those without the wherewithal for Christmastime extras can be assured of a little something for their children and themselves because of S-R readers who faithfully donate to the Christmas Fund.

Beginning next Tuesday, applicants will begin to receive help at the Christmas Bureau: a toy for each child in their family, up to 18 years old, and a food voucher to help pay for holiday groceries. Those seeking assistance must present proof of residency and family size in the form of rent receipts, medical coupons, etc.

The bureau’s address will be reported soon.

For those who donate to this worthy cause, be assured that every bit of money you give goes entirely to the Christmas Fund. There is no overhead. No rent, no salaries. Whatever you give goes in its entirety to our neighbors who are down-and-out, to let their children believe another year in Santa Claus, or, for those children who have grown wise to the world, a new, high-quality toy or game to open on Christmas morning.

The names of contributors, their addresses and gift amounts will be printed in the newspaper as a way to say thanks, and as a point of accountability. If you prefer anonymity, only the donation amount will be reported.

If you’d like, include a brief note telling us why you are being a Good Samaritan and what it means to you. And, please have patience if your name does not appear immediately in the newspaper. It takes a few days to process the gifts.

Other contributions in Monday’s tally include:

An anonymous gift of $350, and another of $300 and $100 included in the same envelope.

The Dideybear from Babyland Diaper Service, 1520 E. Trent, delivered its gift of $200. Dideybear’s arrival early on in the drive has become a tradition of the Christmas Fund. There was also a $200 anonymous gift from Newport.

Mr. and Mrs. Victor G. Cole, 2406 W. Decatur, donated $125. Giving $100 were the Patrol Unit of the Ladies Oriental Shrine; Chester and Catherine Chastek, Spokane; Mrs. N.G. Johanson, 633 N. Madelia; and James and Norine Kent, Spokane.

Ben Dalo, 5723 N. Milton, gave $100 in memory of Jane Adams. Others contributing Monday in Adams’ memory were Laura Steen, Boring, Ore., $20; Mr. and Mrs. John Moore, 1423 W. Jackson, $20; and Bernard and Pat Albro, Richland, $10.

Ted and Margaret Byers, 5823 N. Northwood Drive, gave $75. Contributing $50 were: John and Linda Muir, Cheney; Eddie Heavner, 2121 W. Fourth; Anna Floyd, 3424 Northwest Blvd.; C.A. Gladder and Gail Goeller, 2211 W. Sharp; Marge Shipman, Brookings, Ore., in memory of Barney Leach; and Virginia and Michael Manion Jr., Spokane.

Ron and Carolyn Aubrey, 1512 E. Crown, also gave $50, with this note: “We feel so blessed this year. Our two grandkids - Jared and Carlee - are healthy. There is so much sadness around here now with the ice storm. I just hope our small contribution will help put a smile on some child’s face.”

A $44 gift in memory of loved ones came from Ray, Liz, Laura and Kiley Schatz, 3009 W. Rosewood: “Two and a half years ago, we lost our sweet and loving sister and aunt, Karen Schatz Dunning. We started giving to the Christmas Fund that year in her memory. This year, we lost our family dog, Bartleby.

“Karen would have been 33 this year and Bartleby would have been 11. They were great friends and we’re sure they’re having a ball in Heaven.

“Thanks for the opportunity to honor them and do something for others in need.”

Gifts of $25 came from Jan and Dennis McMann, 2615 E. Girard Place; Victor Buksbazen, Ph.D., 6417 N. Cincinnati; and the Hill family, 2937 Cook, in memory of Barney Leach.

Annette and Barry Barfield, 609 W. 17th, gave $20, as did Fred and Winifred Jones, 2117 N. Oak.

Won’t you examine your heart - and pocketbook - and donate if you can to make Dec. 25 a day for everyone to celebrate?

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: HOW TO HELP Christmas Fund donations can be sent to: Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, 4th floor newsroom, 999 W. Riverside Ave., Box 516, Spokane WA 99210.

This sidebar appeared with the story: HOW TO HELP Christmas Fund donations can be sent to: Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, 4th floor newsroom, 999 W. Riverside Ave., Box 516, Spokane WA 99210.

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