The Christmas Bureau operates in a way that most businesses do not: The bureau spends the money on faith that the community will give generously to cover the bills, as it has for so many years. Starting Monday, volunteers at this Christmas charity will begin giving away thousands of dollars worth of toys and food vouchers to needy families.
But the effort only works if thousands of donors do their part. The employees of Kim Hotstart Manufacturing Co., of Spokane, gave the fund a big boost this week with a generous donation of $4,000.
“I know that all of our employees and the community appreciate your effort to help those less fortunate than us during this holiday season,” wrote CEO Rick Robinson in a note accompanying the donation.
Donations totaling $9,475 for Wednesday’s tally brought the Christmas Fund total to $21,247.56. The newspaper and its partnering charities have set a goal of $500,000 for the Christmas Fund, hoping to meet the need of about 10,000 families who will likely use the bureau this year. Articles will appear between now and Christmas, updating readers on the fund and the need. The bureau will open Monday.
While more than $21,000 looks like a good start on this annual fund-raising effort, it’s already far short of last year at the same time. That’s even more troubling because last year donations ended up more than $17,000 short of the $500,000 goal. Last year at this time, donors had sent $39,818 to the fund. The shortfall last year in the fund was covered by a surplus created when donors gave more than $543,000 in 2000. Now the surplus is gone, and the bureau will have bills to pay after Christmas.
The toys and grocery vouchers are all paid for by the donations of newspaper readers and area businesses. Many people mail in donations. This year donations can also be made online by credit card or through PayPal. Go to www.spokesmanreview.com/ christmasfund/ for more information.
In addition to the donation by Kim Hotstart, the following are donations and donors tallied Wednesday:
John and Janet Peterson, of Spokane, sent $500, as did Master Refrigeration Inc., of Spokane Valley.
Mike Coleman, of Bloomingdale, Ill., sent $450.
Helen Schaefer, of Spokane, sent $400 “to help those less fortunate in honor of the same four as usual.”
The South Hill Bunko Babes, of Spokane, sent $210. Any other bunko groups out there that want to beat that donation?
Gregory and Alice Prekeges gave $200, as did Orval and Anita Janssen, Bill Holsberry, D.D.S., Steven and Lorrie McNutt, and Beverly Massie, all of Spokane. An anonymous donor of Ione, Wash., sent $200.
An anonymous donor of Spokane gave $150.
Roger Palmberg donated $100, as did Linda Williamson, Michael and Ione Howson, Richard and Alice Hayes, Don and Carolyn Vanleuven, and Eleanore Meenach, all of Spokane.
Bruce and Virginia Whitehouse gave $100, as did two anonymous donors, all of Spokane, and Edward and Susan Leach, of Coeur d’Alene. An anonymous donor of Spokane sent $100 in memory of Henry Diedesch.
An anonymous donor from Spokane sent $75.
Eileen Thorpe sent $50, as did Eddie Heavner, Albert Bair, James and Jane Barthelmess, Scott Hall and Kathi Marymee, and three anonymous donors, all of Spokane.
Tom and Sue Eastman, of Spokane, donated $50 in honor of their grandchildren, Laura, Jeff, Emilie, Brooklyn, Matthew, Bennett, Tamera and Jonathan.
Virginia and Alex Kiefer, of Spokane, donated $40.
Carol and Tom Hartl, of Spokane, gave $30.
Ed and Pauline Carlson gave $25, as did Margaret and Chris Tollackson, Marcus Lehmann, the Garden Springs Happy Hour Club and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane.
Mary Wilson, of Newport, Wash., donated $25, as did Alene Pokstelf, of Greenacres. Janet and Gary Pierce, of Spokane, sent $25 in memory of the brother of Vicky Pierce, who passed away this month.
Mary and Molly Faye, of Greenacres, sent $20, as did Patricia Fisher, of Spokane, and Teresa and Christopher Oszurko, of Nine Mile Falls, Wash. Gloria Spotanski, of Pinehurst, Idaho, gave $20 in memory of her husband, Steve Spotanski.
Jane Tarbert, of Spokane, sent $20 and a note: “I am a 77-year-old great-grandmother with a wonderful family and lucky enough to raise my children without the help of this fund. I wish I could send more.”
Nancy and Jeff Strite, of Spokane, gave $15, as did Eleanor Robinson, of Spokane.
Ella May Zuroske, of Spokane, donated $10, as did Roy Charlton, of Spokane, Louise Bray, of Spokane Valley, and an anonymous donor, of Spokane.