The Christmas Bureau closes this afternoon. That means there will be big bills to pay, which is where The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund comes in. The fund pays for the grocery vouchers and toys given to families who come to the bureau for help with their holiday celebrations.
Thursday, volunteers gave food vouchers totaling $17,020 to 655 families, and 725 children got toys for Christmas.
A generous $26,210 donation from the intellectual property law firm Lee & Hayes bounced the Christmas Fund close to the goal of $485,000, the amount organizers estimated will be needed to cover the bills.
“Last Saturday, Lee & Hayes conducted our first annual charity drive to offer support to the Christmas Fund,” wrote Heather Buford, of Lee & Hayes.
“The vision of the charity drive was to have our attorneys and patent agents donate a portion of their time in December. In turn, the firm agreed to donate all profits garnered from the donated work. By donating time away from friends and family to help out those in need in the community, we were able to exceed our anticipated goal of $20,000.
“Lee & Hayes is proud to donate $26,210 and we look forward to making our charity drive a continued tradition of supporting the Spokane community. We greatly appreciate that the fund provides, as well as the efforts of the numerous volunteers,” Buford continued.
“We would also like to take the opportunity to extend a friendly challenge to encourage other legal and professional organizations to give back to the Spokane community that we are all proud to be a part of. We would not only like to thank our attorneys and agents for their time, but we would also like to thank our wonderful staff for their tremendous efforts throughout the year. Lastly, we would like to thank our clients who have provided us an abundance of work that affords us to donate our time and profits back into our community,” Buford continued.
The Christmas Bureau closes at 2:30 today, and during slow periods on Thursday, volunteers began preparations to clear the Ag Building at the fairgrounds by this evening. Bundles of flattened cardboard boxes and wooden pallets — shipping materials from 16,000 toys — were stacked by the back door, ready for pickup by Earthworks Recycling. All remaining toys were placed near the toy room for easy access today. Cartons of candy were opened and stacked by the bagging tables. Leftover candy is one of the few items not put into storage until next year. Any bags remaining are taken to House of Charity, Crosswalk and other shelters run by the Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America, the two agencies that run the bureau.
The Christmas Fund welcomes donations of all amounts through Dec. 28. Donations received after that date will be applied to next year’s Christmas Fund effort.
Following are the additional donations and their donors:
Fay and Carmel Johnstone, of Spokane Valley, donated $250.
Colleen and Gregory Stevens, of Spokane, donated $200, as did an anonymous donor, in memory of Devin Johnson, and “with thanks to all the volunteers who make the Christmas Bureau a reality.”
Employees of the Sportsman Café, of Spokane, donated $150, as did Don and Linda McClellan, also of Spokane.
Wilbur Yates, of Spokane, sent $125, as did the Vinje sisters, Prasti Vinje Purdum, of Lakewood, Ohio; and Astrid Vinje and Michelle Vinje, both of Seattle.
Dick and Lola Lile, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Robert and Ellen Houx.
Connie and John Overdorff, of Otis Orchards, sent $100, as did Fred and Sharon Clark, of Chattaroy; Alan Edmunds, of Spokane; and an anonymous donor, also of Spokane.
Michael Rooth and Julie Yahnke, of Spokane, donated $75, as did Bruce and Nancy Wendelburg, of Spokane, in memory of their parents, John, Kay, Al, Ruth and Gail.
Laverne Linder, of Spokane, sent $60.
The 3-to-11 shift on 7 South at Sacred Heart Medical Center donated $50. “A small token of our appreciation for the good work you do,” they wrote.
Patrick and Laurie Thiel, of Spokane Valley, donated $50, as did James and Lisa Northcott, Craig and Phyllis Adams, Cindy and Joe Gleesing, John Miller and Sandra Nolting, and Barbara and George Stevens, all of Spokane.
Nancy Dafler, of Cheney, sent $50, as did Andre and Rhonda Ney, of Spokane Valley; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
Kathleen Hull and Janet Walker, of Colbert, sent $50 and a note: “This donation is in appreciation for the Child Protective Services social and adoption workers who spend many hours working to keep families together and to protect those children who cannot protect themselves. These are some of the hardest working people in our county. They can never be thanked enough for their dedication and long hours.”
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $50 in memory of her husband.
Gwen Hill, of Spokane, donated $40.
Nancy and James Morris, of Moscow, Idaho, sent $35 in memory of Mike and Arlene Runje.
Two anonymous donors, both of Spokane, each contributed $30.
Da’Lea and Michael Cotter, of Otis Orchards, donated $25, as did Mary Lou Downhour, of Spokane; Susan and Kenneth Almon, of Nine Mile Falls; and two anonymous donors, both of Spokane.
Ann Carey and Patty Rabel, of Spokane, donated $25 in memory of their dad, Ken Rabel.