Some Christmas Bureau volunteers are learning about generosity and charity at a relatively young age. High school students from three Spokane schools are volunteering at the bureau for the 11 days that it’s open.
About 70 students from Lewis and Clark and Rogers high schools and Gonzaga Prep help recipients carry toys and books to the parking lot or bus stop. They also play with children in the child-care area while their parents select toys from the toy rooms.
In addition, the student choirs from Gonzaga Prep and Rogers sang holiday carols on four days.
“It makes you feel great,” said Ian Orlando, a junior from Gonzaga Prep who worked Wednesday afternoon. “The people who come here have so much gratitude.”
“It’s an awesome cause,” said Gonzaga Prep junior Marisa Syhlman. “My favorite part is watching the kids’ eyes glow when they see the toys.”
On Thursday, the bureau distributed 596 food vouchers worth $16,965 and 863 toys.
Donors to the Christmas Fund also generously shared the spirit of Christmas. One Spokane donor sent $5,000 and asked to remain anonymous; a small group of donors, also of Spokane, gave $1,540 anonymously.
Those donations and others brought the daily tally to $20,707.15, which bumped the Christmas Fund to $209,345.18. The fund pays for the fixings of Christmas distributed at the bureau. The goal is $485,000. Donations of all amounts are welcome.
Following are the donors and their donations:
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $5,000.
A group of anonymous donors, of Spokane, gave $1,540.
Dale Conboy, of Spokane, sent $1,500 and wishes for a Merry Christmas on behalf of his extended family.
Timothy and Carrie Haymes, of Spokane, gave $1,000, as did Colvico, Inc., of Spokane, and an anonymous donor.
The Spokane Public Schools Superintendent’s Council – Brian Benzel, Nancy Stowell, Mark Anderson, Barb Wright and Terren Roloff – gave $700. “We are pleased to donate to the Christmas Fund again this year to help ensure that all our community’s children enjoy a happy holiday season.”
Mark and Jessie Bekken, and Questar Marketing Inc., donated $700 in honor of their clients and in memory of Mary Jo Bekken Menk.
Ken and Vicky Moland, of Valleyford, Wash., donated $500 in memory of Bill and Bonnie Barratt, Vern Moland and Veryl Moland.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $500 “in recognition of Janet Gratzer for her courageous battle with breast cancer. She has been an inspiration to all of us with her positive attitude and her happy disposition.”
Wheat & Associates Insurance Inc., of Spokane, gave $500. “We all need to remember the less fortunate during this holiday season,” wrote Dave and Tena Wheat.
Jill Maruca, of Phoenix, Ariz., and Ruth Reynolds, of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of their parents, Bill and Elaine Reynolds. Dick and Trudy Raymond, of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of their parents, Tom and Marie Raymond and Don and Winnie Thomson. Rowena and Norman Fredekind, of Spokane, donated $300.
Robert Zacher, of Spokane, sent $250, as did the Spokane Falls Chapter No. 34 of the International Footprint Association, and an anonymous donor, also of Spokane.
An anonymous donor from Valleyford, Wash., gave $200 in memory of Devin Johnson. Craig and Pauline Soehren, of Spokane, sent $200, as did Roger and Barbara Thompkins, also of Spokane.
Daniel and Theresa Lennon, of Spokane, gave $200.
Martina Meinke-Tyler donated $193.90 through PayPal.
The Southridge Bunco Club, of Spokane, gave $160.
An anonymous donor, of Chattaroy, sent $152.
The Holy Family Ambulatory Surgery Center staff gave $145 in lieu of a holiday gift exchange.
Phyllis and Jack Worden, of Spokane, sent $125, as did an anonymous donor, also of Spokane.
John and Sherry Gaiser, of Spokane, donated $110, as did an anonymous Spokane donor.
Maurie and Rosemary Twomey, of Round Lake, Ill., donated $100, as did Albert and Jean Pistorius, of Hayden Lake, Idaho; Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Telfer, Nancy Stone, Corrine and Dallas Dixon, Thomas and Nola Hall, Doris Baker, and the North Star Lodge No. 145, all of Spokane.
Pete Sherve, of Northport, Wash., gave $100, as did Dr. and Mrs. Richard Ahlquist, of Spokane; Pam and Joe Ridlington, of Mead; Ned and Linda Barnes, of Spokane; Harris Properties, of Spokane; and two anonymous donors, both of Spokane.
Anita and Robert Cole, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of their parents, and grandson, “who did not live to enjoy many Christmases.”
Maren Kuest, of Spokane, gave $100 in appreciation of all the employees and volunteers at the Spokane Veterans Home on Fifth Avenue. Evelyn Hickman, of Colfax, Wash., sent $100 in memory of her mother, Mrs. Krause.
John Odette, of Spokane Valley, sent $100, in honor of his wife, Laura, who died in August. “Laura worked at the Christmas Bureau giveaway at several sites for 11 years.”
Leslie and Meredith Hilby, of Liberty Lake, sent $75 and a note: “In this season of family gatherings and joy, we think it’s important to remember those who may be struggling. After all, the true meaning of Christmas is not measured in material terms, but in the love we feel for our fellow man. We hope our modest gift will help make this season a little brighter for some among us who may not be as fortunate.”
Glenn and Alta Spear, of Spokane, donated $50, as did Harold and Diane Watters, of Cheney; John and Barbara Dowd, of Spokane; Richard and Constance Baird, of Cheney; Hazel Strange, of Spokane Valley; Janet Walker, of Colbert; and Robert and Jeanette Johnson, of Spokane.
John Remund, of Spokane, donated $50 in memory of his wife, Jean. An anonymous Spokane donor gave $50 in memory of her loved ones.
Hollis Ladd, of Cocolalla, Idaho, gave $50, as did Bill Cunningham, Bill Freyler, Marilyn Cooley, and three anonymous donors, all of Spokane.
David Hargreaves gave $48.25 through PayPal.
Jeanine and Irving Kiehn, of Spokane, donated $40.
Carol and M.L. Anderson, of Spokane, gave $35.
Melody and Royal Ingebretsen, of Spokane, gave $30, as did an anonymous Pullman donor.
K.V. Hull and J.M. Walker, of Colbert, donated $25, as did Mary Benham, Gail Kiser, Patricia Stewart, Roger and Pat French, Bette Lowell, and Richard Frampton, all of Spokane; and Kevin and Diana McHenry, of Hauser, Idaho.
Sharon Scharff, of Spokane, gave $20.
Holly Michaels, of Spokane Valley, donated $18.