There’s always something amazing among the contributions to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund.
Something that makes me feel humble.
Sometimes it’s a letter from a woman still grieving the loss of her husband and wants to remember him with a gift to others.
Sometimes it’s a painstakingly written letter from a child, sharing hard-earned pennies from his piggy bank so children he doesn’t know can enjoy Christmas.
Sometimes it’s a telephone call from a concerned gentleman, inquiring about the Christmas Fund, and to assure me he’s remembering the fund in his daily prayers.
On Thursday, it was a letter and a gift of $518 from members of Temple Beth Shalom.
How wonderful for them to think of people celebrating a Christian holiday not recognized in their faith.
Stephen Berde wrote a letter accompanying the gift that represents donations from the congregation and staff:
“The Jewish community of Spokane and the staff of Temple Beth Shalom would like to thank the community for their generosity shown to our Jewish community in the past.”
Their gift helped bring Thursday’s collection to $21,646, for a total so far of $287,460.94.
Trying not to sound scared, and not wanting to beg (any more than what’s already been done) but with a goal of $425,000, we’re going to need a miracle of some kind to raise enough money by Christmas Day.
The Ludlow Foundation, with Ludlow and Patricia Kramer and Mary Higuchi, Liberty Lake, created a miracle of sorts with their $5,000 check on Thursday.
“It is our hope this donation, from the board of the Ludlow Foundation, will help many deserving families in the Spokane area this holiday season,” the accompanying letter read.
The employees of Downtown Toyota sent Christmas greetings with their check for $3,230 and a letter from David R. Coombs:
“We appreciate the efforts of The Spokesman-Review’s Christmas Fund and the way it helps the less fortunate during the holiday season. This year the employee contributions were matched by the dealership.
“And all of us feel this Christmas Fund is the best!”
Robert Knott of LaCrosse, Wash., gave $1,000 in memory of Anne Knott. The employees of Metropolitan Mortgage & Securities, Inc., 929 W. Sprague, contributed $543.
Duane Justus and Doug Justus of Justus Bag, 11205 E. Trent, sent $500 with this letter: “As it has been our tradition to give to your fund every year, we hope that our donation will send a little more happiness in the way of the Spokane needy for this holiday season. Please accept this donation in the name of our late father: Curly Justus.”
Other $500 gifts were from James Hammons, 6012 E. 11th; Mary and Terry Rathbun, Liberty Lake; and an anonymous donor.
The management and employees of B.P.S. Supply Co., of Washington, Montana and Idaho, 218 E. Trent, sent $400; the Freeman Education Association donated $350, with this note from Peggy Jeremiah: “After all, this goes to help ‘our kids.’ Thanks for doing all the work to help these kids.”
Molly Philopant, 2010 W. Courtland, gave $300. Gifts of $250 came from the Sisters of Providence of St. Ignatius Province, 9 E. Ninth; Jim and Claudine Krebsbach, 4904 S. Woodfield Lane; Helen, Doug, D.J. and Andrew Brajcich, 3535 S. Croydon Court, in memory of their son and brother, Scott Brajcich. “He loved everything about Christmas,” his mom wrote, “especially the joy of giving to others. This gift embodies the true spirit of Scott as well as the true meaning of Christmas. We are blessed to be able to help others in Scott’s memory.”
Another example of an amazing gift.
Donations of $200 came from Eunice and Edward Loskot, 620 N. Willow Crest Lane; Charles and Mrs. Schmeltzer, 418 E. Central; Judith and Bruce Butler, 10202 Ferret Drive; George and Alice Prekeges, 3115 S. Howard; Genstar Land Co. Northwest, San Diego, Calif; the Ladies of Sadir Khan Grotto, because it “helps so many at the beautiful Christmas season.”
With their $200 gift, Steve and Patti Aspinwall, 4711 N. Center Road, wrote: “Thank you for this opportunity to share with others as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus. May God’s love shine brightly out of each of you as you make this holiday come to life for so many.”
Contributions of $150 came from Richard and Lauretta Byrd, 1620 E. 27th; Keegan Shorey, Spokane; and Wilma Taylor, 1224 W. Riverside, in memory of Dale Taylor and his grandson, Tucker Taylor.
Neal and Joann Skaufel and family, Veradale, gave $125, as did an anonymous donor.
Carol Gabel sent $120 in memory of her husband, Gene, with this note: “This seems so appropriate for a memorial to my husband. He was only 56 years old when he died this fall. He loved the holidays and I always felt he was trying to make up for the Christmases he really didn’t have as a child.”
The Weekend Groups of Abstemious Outpatient Clinic shared their sobriety with those in need with a collection of $105. “Though things are on the rough side financially for many of the patients,” wrote Yvonne Hayes, “they all managed to reach into their pockets to reach out to those less fortunate than themselves. The spirit of the holiday is no longer alcohol, but is the spirit of sharing.”
An amazing gift? I’d say so.
Gifts of $100 came from Thomas Turbak, 12410 E. Southwood Lake; Richard and Christine Miller, 1235 E. Christmas Tree Lane; Jack and Norma Snead, 3103 W. Winthrop; Carl Hanneman, Seattle, in the name of his mother, Eleanor Hanneman, 1801 Upriver Drive; H.J. Burns Co., Inc.; Dr. John Obde of the Indian Trail Dental Care, 3233 W. Indian Trail Road.
A $100 check came with this letter from Empire Lumber Co.: “In keeping with our tradition that we started in 1993, the corporate employees have agreed to forego their own Christmas party in order to share with members of this community.”
A gift of $100 came from the Hogbergs, 11709 N. Kathy Lane: Vern and May; Mike, Nancy, Brett and Shane; Marty, Jennifer, Shauna and Ryan; Dave, Cindy and Haley; and John and Kelsie. They wrote: “We are forever thankful for the many blessings our family enjoys and that we are able to help others in need.
Other $100 gifts came from Louise Howard, 2707 E. 37th; R.C. Schwartz & Associates, 159 S. Cowley; James and Carrie Clanton, 3626 S. Woodruff Road; Mary and Paula Barth, 2008 S. Herald; Barry and Carole Jones, 1914 E. 25th; Mr. and Mrs. L.R. Tompkins, 16313 Pittsburg Lane; The James Barge family, 10306 E. Valley Way, in memory of their parents Harry and Gerry Barge and George Dickson.
Mr. and Mrs. William Brooks, Evans, Wash., sent $100, as did Beryl Dubois, 620 W. Seventh; Mr. and Mrs. L.B. Meenach, Spokane; Ann and Norman English, 626 W. Holmberg Lane; Pat Phelan, “in memory of my dear husband, Chuck, who felt this was the best of funds to help those less fortunate.”
Other contributions of $100 came from Marvin Olsen, 511 S. Park Road; Sandra Hatch; Gary and Deborah Veltry, 906 W. Falcon; Warren Kendall, Mead, on behalf of his two daughters, Mindee and Gina, with this note: “Last year was my first year of giving to this worthy cause. I don’t want to miss the blessing one receives from giving.”
Gene and Diane Christie, 6319 S. Helena, gave $100, as did Ed and Mary Averett, 140 S. Arthur; and nine anonymous donors.