A generous $12,000 donation by Ken Roberts Investment Management, Inc., of Spokane, bumped the daily tally of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund to $16,300. That brought the fund total to $38,461.05.
Ken Roberts Investment Management is a longtime supporter of the Christmas Fund.
“We have participated in the past as donors to the Christmas Fund, and we appreciate all the efforts you have made for our community,” said a note signed by Ken Roberts, Sharon Roberts,Heather LaLone, Stacy Gourley, Vinson Cai, Leslie Yates, Lynn Fruin and Kevin Crawford. “We are thankful for your efforts on behalf of those that need assistance, and we appreciate all the donors and volunteers of Spokane that work together to make our community a better place for all. Please accept our contribution with our good wishes,” they wrote.
Donations of all amounts are welcome and will be needed for the fund to reach its goal of $485,000. The donations are used to buy the fixings of Christmas for the area’s needy families. Toys and vouchers for holiday dinner will be distributed at the Christmas Bureau, which opens Dec. 7 at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center.
The charity’s goal is to make Christmas brighter for the area’s needy. Last year 30,362 people were helped by the bureau, including 15,210 children, who each got a new toy and a book.
But more than sheer numbers, a peek at the financial picture of the nearly 9,300 families served shows how the help they get at the bureau sometimes means they will be able to have a Christmas celebration. The average monthly income of the 1,890 single-person households helped by the bureau last year was $430. They left with a $15 food voucher and a bag of candy. For two years, bureau co-chair Bruce Butler has advocated for gifts for single-person households. This year they will get a gift bag as well as the food voucher and candy.
Of the 30,362 people served last year, only 1,200 came from two-person households – two adults, or an adult and a child. These people are given a $25 voucher and a bag of candy, and the children get toys.
This means that nearly 90 percent of the people helped lived in households with three or more people. The average monthly income of all of the households helped was $965. Longtime volunteer Scooter Mahoney, who works at the voucher table at the bureau, says the largest family she has seen had 11 members.
People who come to the bureau are asked – but are not required – to report their incomes. The must have photo identification, proof of residence, such as medical coupons, utility or telephone bills or a rent receipt; and proof that the children they are getting toys for also live at the same address. These requirements are efforts to minimize fraud and duplication of toys and vouchers.
Last year bureau organizers instituted a one-voucher- per-household rule, even if multiple families live at a single address. The intent of the voucher is that the household members buy food for a holiday dinner.
Following are the rest of the donors and their donations from the daily tally of $16,300:
Sondra Wildman, of Spokane, donated $500.
Lester Randall, of Spokane, donated $250 in honor of his two sons, Clay and Gary Randall.
Larry and Kathleen Smith, of Hayden, Idaho, sent $200 and a note: “To help make Christmas a little brighter for all who are less fortunate. A big hug for all of you who make this possible. Thanks to all of you – God bless and keep you well.”
Karen and Jim Woodworth gave $200, as did Bill Molsberry, Mr. and Mrs. George Prekeges, and Frank and Patricia Goodman, all of Spokane. W.O. Pemberton, of Spokane, sent $200 in memory of his wife, Dorothy.
The Southside Newcomers, of Spokane, gave $200. “Happy holidays to all who want to continue with the good will for those not as fortunate as we are,” they wrote.
Barry and Carole Jones, of Spokane, gave $150, as did an anonymous donor, also of Spokane.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $140.
Phillip Jones and Christina Marino, of Spokane, sent $100, as did Carolyn Vanleuven, Roberta Green, Michael and Ione Howson, Mel and Gloria McCuddin, and Tom Highland and Barbara Crawford, all of Spokane.
Sharon Boyer, of Spokane Valley, sent $100. Marilyn Walker, of Spokane, sent $100 in memory of her father, Henry Diedesch, and noted that he had enjoyed working in the toy department of the Christmas Bureau as a volunteer.
The Farmers Insurance Beck Agency and John and Jody Beck, of Spokane, donated $100.
Jim and Barb Christie, of Spokane, sent $50, as did Kim and Sheri Barnard, Eddie Heavner, Fred Weggel, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane. David and Jacqueline Vasquez, of Spokane Valley, donated $50, as did Marge Boyles, of Spokane, Ronald and Susan Taylor, of Mead, John Robertson, of Colville, Wash., and an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
An anonymous donor sent $50 in memory of her son, Jim, “who loves Christmas.”
Carol Wilson, of Greenacres, gave $50, in memory of her husband, Archie, “The Christmas Fund was one of his priority charities,” she wrote.
Mary Wilson, of Newport, gave $35.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $30.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $25.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, sent $20 and a note: “Thank you again for this opportunity to help some of the poor in our city. I know this takes hours of your own family time but it is very much appreciated.”
Jacqueline Eide, of Odessa, Wash., gave $20, as did Maurine Simpson, of Coeur d’Alene.
Marjorie Rell, of Spokane, sent $10.