In recent years, some businesses and foundations have found it necessary to stop contributing to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund.
The loss of those significant contributions caused worry that the resulting crimp would be disastrous to spreading Christmas cheer among those who so need cheering up.
But, not so. The big, black hole was sealed by many residents with individual donations. Like Raymond and Lois Hanson, 2031 S. Parkwood Circle, who generously gave $1,000 this year.
Still, a business can do with one gift what it often takes hundreds of individuals to do.
So, when the fund received a gift of $3,000 from employees of Safeway Stores, a warm glow radiated from the fact that at least one conglomerate realizes there are people in its community who desperately need help - especially at Christmas.
“We are honored to be able to present the enclosed check for $3,000 to help those in need during the holiday season,” wrote Jeff Buchanan and Brian Kingsbury, district managers.
“With our recent ice storm, it is especially heartwarming for us to be able to participate in this annual event.”
The contributions of Safeway and the Hansons helped bring Saturday’s Christmas Fund total to $7,685 for a total so far of $52,810.01. We are inching our way towards the $400,000 goal.
You can see by the total of $52,810 and 1 cent, that every penny in support of the Christmas Fund is valued - and accounted for. Contributions are tax-deductible because three nonprofit agencies - the Salvation Army, Volunteers of America and Catholic Charities - operate the Christmas Bureau where applicants receive their gifts and food voucher.
The newspaper serves as a conduit to collect the money and gives it entirely to the agencies to pay for toys and vouchers. Nothing is withheld for expenses.
Now in its 51st year, every cent of every dollar ever given to the Christmas Fund has been used only to make Christmas a happier day for low-income families - especially for the children in those families.
If you work for a company, large or small, why not speak to your boss or CEO about the possibility of the firm making a contribution to the Christmas Fund?
If you have a regular job with a reliable paycheck, won’t you please consider writing a check to the fund?
There will be thousands seeking help. If we think the ice storm was hard on us, think what it must have been to those who are just making ends meet as it is. It’s the children, innocent of any cause of their parents’ poverty, who suffer the most.
Every day the telephone rings, with anxious mothers calling to ask how to get gifts for their children.
Beginning Tuesday, the Christmas Bureau at 812 W. Main will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays, through Dec. 23.
Take with you proof of residency (heat or power bill) and proof of every person in your family (medical coupons). It’s important to include everyone since the amount of the food voucher will depend on the size of your household. That’s all that is required.
First, you will receive a food voucher.
Then, you can select the toy or game for each of your children aged 18 or younger.
Others helping to reach Saturday’s total were the Wanderers Auto Club, 5202 N. Hayford Road, with a gift of $400; giving $250 were the Cathcarts of Colbert, and Toby’s Body and Fender, 1022 N. Normandie.
Gifts of $200 came from four anonymous donors, one given “in loving memory of Sharon Whitesel and my sister, Peggy”; one “given in gratitude to God for the many countless blessings that have been given to me”; and another “in loving memory of Jack, and wishing a warm and happy holiday for others.”
Those giving $100 gifts were Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Meenach, 1331 E. Club Court; Morris and Lucille Slavens, 1927 W. Fairview; Marion C. Connelly, 2311 W. 16th; Donna Dieckman, 2804 E. 30th; the Baxters, Greenacres; Marshall and Mignonne Shore, 2616 E. 58th Lane.
Averil Goff and Patty Goff Shilling, former Spokane residents now living in Milwaukie, Ore., donated $100. Mrs. Goff, now in her 90s, keeps in touch with her former hometown through a newspaper subscription. She’s been a faithful contributor for many years to the Christmas Fund.
Betty Ostheller, 303 E. 14th, gave $100, as did four anonymous donors, one to honor Dr. S.E. Shikany and Mr. and Mrs. Emery Hynes.
Giving $50 were Andrew, Luke, Jonathan, Annie and Christopher, Spokane; H.O. Wilson, Greenacres; Joan Hall-Inkpen, 7241 N.Fotheringham; Garnett and Jim Hordemann, 2310 W. Dell Drive; Jack and Doris Primmer, 7515 E. South Riverway, “in memory of Elvin Primmer, brother and friend,” and two anonymous donations.
Naomi Hall, 4728 Calispel, removed $45 in change she’d dropped all year long into her great-grandmother’s teapot - her “teapot fund,” as she calls it. There was an anonymous donation of $30.
Giving $25 were Jerry and Joanne, Spokane; Don and Barbara Crippen, 40 E. 16th; Donald J. Piggott, 410 W. Third; Warren Elmquist, 2841 W. Lyons; Irving and Jeanne Kiehn, 5921 N. Lindeke; Margaret Taylor, 902 S. Nina Circle, “in memory of a special friend, Erma Conboy”; Jerrold Shea, 1822 S. Fawn Drive; and five anonymous donations.
Jerry and Luce Bisher, 1517 W. Shannon, donated $20; Roy Charlton, 404 W. Central, and two anonymous donors each gave $10.
There were two $5 gifts, one from Pat Pedersen, Coeur d’Alene, who wrote “remembering my brother Cody Taylor”; and an anonymous gift.