For more than 60 years, the community has come together to give the gift of a merrier Christmas to local poor families. The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund is the conduit for generous donors to pay for thousands of toys and grocery store vouchers distributed at the Christmas Bureau.
Year after year, community members have stepped forward with the spirit of the season, and this year is no exception. Two more local businesses gave significant donations to the Christmas Fund this week.
Downtown Toyota, Downtown Honda and Lexus of Spokane gave $12,000 to the charity.
“We feel very fortunate that there is a fund that helps so many families and organizations right here in our own city,” wrote David R. Coombs and Steve Coombs. “Each year all of our employees donate and we match their contributions. We appreciate The Spokesman-Review and all the volunteers that make this happen. We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas.”
Another longtime donor, Justus Bag Co., of Spokane, sent $5,000 and a letter: “This time of year, we all have a choice to make. Do we think of ourselves or make the rewarding choice of putting the needs of others before our own? Is Christmas not about the heart? This should be a time of giving and not always receiving on our part. This is the reason we at Justus Bag Co. have given to the Christmas Fund for so many years. We believe in making a difference in the lives of others who need more than ourselves. It is in this spirit and in the memory of our founder, Roland ‘Curly’ Justus, that we are grateful to help out with those who really deserve to have a merry Christmas.”
Those and dozens of additional donors brought the daily tally to $41,899, which bounced the Christmas Fund to $209,509. The goal is $485,000, the amount that bureau organizers anticipate will be needed to pay for the toys and food vouchers.
Drs. Molly and Andrew Howlett, of Spokane, gave $2,500 “in honor of our wonderful patients who have welcomed us to Spokane and opened their hearts to us.”
An anonymous donor, of Creston, Wash., sent $1,500.
Rich, Carol and Scott Hendershot, of Spokane, donated $1,000, as did Drs. Steven and Lynn Nisco, ColVico Inc., and an anonymous donor, also all of Spokane.
An anonymous donor, of Hayden, gave $750.
Sondra Wildman, of Spokane, donated $600.
Robert Kendall, of Spokane, donated $500, as did Larry Bishop, and Thomas Kasson, both of Spokane; J&J Drilling Inc., of Greenacres; Tek Mfg. Inc., of Spokane Valley; an anonymous donor, of Spokane, and an anonymous donor, of Mead.
Ken and Vicky Moland, of Valleyford, donated $500 in memory of Bill and Bonnie Barratt, Vernon Moland and Veryl Moland
An anonymous donor, of Colbert, donated $500 in memory of Ivan and Skip Louderback.
The staff at Victor Lumber Co., of Spokane, donated $500 on behalf of their loyal customers.
Eugene and Selma Young, of Spokane, gave $425.
Peter and Gay Witherspoon, of Spokane, donated $350.
Tim and Sally Quirk, of Spokane, donated $310, which includes $10 from Yung Dao. “My friend, Yung Dao, was a student for two years at the English Language Institute at EWU, and continues to study in New York,” Sally Quirk said. “She is a Buddhist monk who will return to Asia this spring.”
Craig and Pauline Soehren, of Spokane, donated $300, as did Cecil Nuxoll, also of Spokane. An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of her mom, her dad and Judy. The Doran family, of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of Gilbert F. Doran.
Gail and Roberta Keeling, of Otis Orchards, sent $300 and a note: “We are so grateful for all that we have. At the top of the list are our children and grandchildren. We are sending this donation in honor of our three grandsons, Taylor Merkley, 11, Kolby Keeling, 3, and Ryan Keeling, 2. May this help brighten Christmas for other families.”
Gail Burchett, Tim Burchett and Brenda Gail Foley, of Spokane, gave $250, as did Bob and Dolores Griffith, of Veradale.
Nancy Bartmess, of Colbert, gave $200, as did Christy and Tom Hamilton, also of Colbert; Steve and Judy Mongelluzzo, John and Kay Feirich, and James Lehr, all of Spokane, and an anonymous donor, of Rosalia, Wash.
Kurt and Michael Olson, sent $200 and a note: “We would very much like the joy of having a family in our neighborhood of Spokane enjoy the blessings of the season.”
Betty Littell, of Spokane Valley, sent $200 in memory of her husband, Marvin D. Littell, and her daughter, Sally Ann Littell.
Nancy Carlson and Joe Destefano, of Spokane, donated $200 in honor of their 11 grandchildren: Tommy, Amanda, Angela, Justine, Travis, Sam, Brittney, Jack, Foster, Alexis and Kalli.
Joseph and Janice Kaley, of Chattaroy, donated $200. “We always look forward to helping with the Christmas Fund, which helps people have a nicer Christmas. God bless everyone.”
Dave and Sharen Robertson, of Spokane, donated $200 in memory of their grandchild, Austin McKenzie.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $200 “in honor of the wonderful stranger who helped me with my elderly father in Wendy’s Restaurant recently.”