December 22, 2008 in City

Vouchers being handed out today

Christmas Fund approaching goal
By The Spokesman-Review

Although the Christmas Bureau closed for the year on Saturday, the work of Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America is not done.

After the two-day closure of the bureau during last week’s snows, Catholic Charities and VOA directors decided to issue food vouchers today only at their offices downtown.

The vouchers, ranging from $18 for a single-person household to $40 for a household of five or more people, will be given out from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Catholic Charities offices, 1023 W. Riverside Ave., and at VOA, 525 W. Second Ave. Toys and books will not be distributed.

Catholic Charities and VOA together operate the Christmas Bureau at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. They oversee the more than 200 volunteers required to make the charity work.

“Involvement is the key to charity,” said Rob McCann, executive director of Catholic Charities Spokane. “I’d much rather you volunteer two hours a week than write a check. When you volunteer, you’ll be transformed and you will become a friend for life. You’ll also probably end up donating as well.”

“People are very generous. They care,” McCann said.

Catholic Charities is in the middle of its annual fund drive. “We raise $750,000 from just under 4,000 donors,” he said. “The spirit is out there. People want to make a difference. In tough times, people think about others.”

The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund is nearing its goal of $495,000. The fund pays for the 15,000 toys and 8,000 food vouchers distributed through the bureau to make Christmas a little brighter for the area’s needy families.

Donations totaling $8,500 bumped the fund to $446,250; donations will be accepted through Dec. 29.

Following are the donors and the amounts of their donations:

The employees and retirees of Jensen Distribution Services, of Spokane, donated $7,430. “We are very happy to donate to those in need in our community,” wrote Michael Jensen, chairman of the board. “We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Year.”

Del Ladd, of Spokane, sent $200, “in thanksgiving for all the good work the volunteers do, and for all the blessings of family and home.”

James Dillmann, of Deer Park, sent $100, as did Roger Palmberg, Don and Vicki Gorder, and an anonymous donor, all of Spokane; and an anonymous donor, of Spokane Valley.

John and Kathleen McCarthy, of Spokane, sent $100, “in appreciation for all the volunteers who generously donate their time and talents for the success of the Christmas Bureau.”

Mike Wolfe, of Cheney, sent $50, as did the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 6, of Spokane Valley; Jeffrey and Robin Johnson, of Spokane; and Patty and Dale Rockwell, of Medical Lake.

Dick and Guyla Wigen, of Ritzville, Wash., donated $25 in memory of their dads, Bus and Leonard. Mike Hughes, of Spokane Valley, gave $25.

Amy Morris and Buffy Sue, of Spokane, gave $20.

Susan English can be reached at

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