Organizers of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund work throughout the year selecting toys, coordinating volunteers, and drumming up support for the Christmas Bureau.
But they’re not the only ones who keep the Christmas Bureau in mind after the holidays pass. Many donations trickle in during the spring, summer and fall to get the annual event off to a strong start come December.
These $29,107 in donations gave the fund a head start toward this year’s goal of $500,000.
“This is either really, really late – oops – or extremely early,” Dezyderiusz and Denise Gebalski, of Nine Mile Falls, wrote on a note attached to their $20 donation to the Christmas Fund in February.
The following month, Jim German, who works at Inland Empire Paper Co., directed a $50 donation from his employer to the fund.
In May, Mary Bronson gave $189.87.
The pace picked up in June, with donations from Spokane resident Betty Franke, who gave $10.50, and St. Maries resident Mark Ausman, who gave $15.47. Also in June, newsroom employees at The Spokesman-Review gave $1,725.65 through the editorial department’s “freebie sale.”
In October, The Guy and Ruth Reed Memorial Fund at the Inland Northwest Community Foundation donated $972, and Ian and Angela Johnstone, of Spokane, gave $2,500.
Of course, some donations are intended for the current Christmas Bureau, but because they come in right after deadline, the funds are transferred to the following year.
On Dec. 30, The Klaue Family Foundation of Spokane donated $15,000 with a letter: “The spirit and generosity of the Spokane community has helped many families experience the true meaning of Christmas. We are proud to contribute and be a part of a program that brings joy and brightness to families that are in need.”
An anonymous donor sent $500 Dec. 29 with a note that said last year’s big snowstorms delayed his annual donation.
“God has granted me many blessings and continues to do so more and more each year,” the donor wrote. “The greatest of His gifts to me is friends that surpass any material treasure I might ever have. In addition, He has provided me with the means to be able to contribute to worthy causes.”
An anonymous donor gave $200 “in gratitude for my many blessings and in memory of my parents, brother, sister and relatives.”
Four other anonymous donors gave $100, $150, $50 and $5. Another $300 came with a card that read, “May those receiving these gifts be blessed knowing our community cares for their wellbeing.”
The Clarence Colby Memorial Fund donated $3,964.40, and Edge Construction Supply Inc. sent in $1,000.
Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church gave $488, and Ronald B. Carlson, of Spokane, donated $400.
Spokane-based C&C Yard Care Inc. gave $250, as did N. Mahoney and G. Matthews, also of Spokane.
The Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute gave $137.82.
Employees of Inland Empire Lumber’s corporate office gave $100 that otherwise would have been spent on a Christmas lunch, a decision the company has made for the past 15 years.
Marcia and John Magnuson, of Spokane, sent $100 in honor of John’s mother, Bea Kienholz, and Marcia’s father, Richard F. Miller, with a card that read, “We feel fortunate to be able to help others in this time of need. The many volunteers are to be honored for their hard work, too. We all need to do what we can to help each other.”
Elaine Meyers, of Spokane, also gave $100, as did Michael and Barbara Hixon, of Spokane; Craig Thielman; and The Retired Public Employees Council, of Spokane Valley.
Norma MacArthur gave $55 in memory of the Mellick family.
Wendy Holmes, of Spokane, gave $50, as did Sue and Gene Blankenship, of Newman Lake.
The Wild Women Investment Club, of Fairfield, donated $31.50.
Jane Tarbert, of Spokane, sent $25 and said, “I hope this will help to make a happier Christmas for some little children.”
George and Barbara Iwai, of Spokane, gave $24.50.