Loaded with toys, Christmas Bureau opens
New ID requirements in place this year
Towers of toys, tables stacked with children’s books, and a small army of volunteers are ready for a crowd today at the Christmas Bureau.
No hurry, though.
In past years, Christmas Bureau recipients lined up before dawn on opening day to secure food vouchers for their families and toys and books for children. But the bureau won’t run out of gifts: Recipients who avoid the opening day rush will still have high-quality options to choose from, said Marilee Roloff, president and CEO of Volunteers of America.
“We’ve got lots and lots and lots of stuff,” Roloff said.
The bureau will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. six days a week – it’s closed Sundays – through Dec. 20. It’s held at the Spokane County fairgrounds.
Whether they arrive today or later, Christmas Bureau recipients face new ID requirements to obtain gifts for their children. Parents must show one of the following for each child living with them to verify the child’s name, address and birth date:
• A “verification” form distributed to some area agencies and schools.
• A letter on letterhead from the child’s school or licensed day care center.
• An official document or a letter on letterhead from the state Department of Social and Health Services, another social service agency or a doctor’s office.
• A WIC folder – paperwork used by clients of the Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.
In addition, every adult recipient must show both of the following:
• Photo ID for the recipient and every person living with them who is 18 or older.
• Their latest utility bill, phone bill or rent receipt to show proof of their current address. Post office box addresses are not acceptable.
• Social Security cards are not acceptable as ID for adults or children.
In past years parents could use medical coupons issued by DSHS to show their children’s names, ages and addresses. But DSHS has stopped issuing those paper coupons, issuing plastic swipe cards instead that don’t list the information.
Translators will be on hand to assist non-English speakers. The bureau also offers free child care.
The Christmas Bureau distributes grocery vouchers, children’s books and toys to people in need. It is funded by donations collected by The Spokesman-Review and is organized by Catholic Charities Spokane and the Volunteers of America.
Donations totaling $29,172.30 boosted the Christmas Fund to $140,034.76.
The staff at Justus Bag Co. in Spokane donated $6,000 in memory of the company’s founder, Roland “Curly” Justus. They wrote: “We are aware of the fact that there is even a greater need this year and we are hopeful every need will be fulfilled and families will be able to enjoy the holiday season.”
The Spokesman-Review editorial department donated $1,573.50.
Jeff and Cindee Corrick, of Spokane, gave $1,500.
Tom and Lucretia Patrick, of Spokane, gave $1,000, as did an anonymous couple from Valleyford.
Nancy Evans and Greg MacDonald, of Spokane, donated $750. “We wish you success in reaching your goal and thank you for the kindness you show to those who need it most,” they wrote.
The Delbert Spear family donated $600 and wrote: “It is a privilege and pleasure to share our many blessings with others.”
Spokane residents who gave $500: The Domineys; the Nuxoll family; and an anonymous donor. Also giving $500: Bob and Dee Griffith, of Veradale; Dennis and Janice McMann, of Newport; Elizabeth Hulteng, of Hayden Lake; and Louis Franks, of Spokane Valley, who gave in memory of his wife, Vita Franks, and their friends, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Burnside.
Helen Mitchel, of Spokane, gave $400.
Gust Abariotes, of Spokane Valley, gave $350.
Giving $300: Judy Laddon and Larry Shook, of Spokane; Craig and Pauline Soehren, of Spokane; an anonymous donor, in memory of Milton and Fay Echelbarger; and Christy and Tom Hamilton, of Colbert, Wash., who wrote: “Please thank the volunteers for all they do for people in Spokane.”
Spokane residents who gave $250: Burton and Shirley Pendleton; Sid Nicholson; Vincent and Margaret Moore; an anonymous couple; and Len and Heidi Preston, who wrote: “Thank you to the staff and volunteers for making the Christmas Bureau happen!”
Also giving $250: Jon and Val Eliassen, of Otis Orchards; Joe and Pam Ridlington, of Mead; James Koppa, of Spokane Valley; and Debbie and Bob Glaza, of Veradale.
An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $200. “I send it to honor my four grown children and their families,” she wrote. “They are all blessed with jobs and what they need, and we choose to make Christmas special for those less fortunate.”
Other Spokane residents who donated $200: Jerome Keller; Lorna Stevenson; Angela and Richard Young, in memory of Ken Trent; an anonymous couple; H.T. VanCleef; Helen and Marvin Soehren; Keith, Deborah, Ben and Tanner Comes; and Dennis and Patricia Doyle. Creighton Engineering, of Spokane, also gave $200.
Also giving $200: Walter and Michelle Wrench, of Spokane Valley; and an anonymous donor, in memory of Daphne Adams, who “donated to the Christmas Fund for many years.”
Janet and Bud Hooper, of Liberty Lake, sent $200 and a note: “This money is sent in the name of our great-grandchildren: Bailey, Keegan, Adara, John, Jake, Peyton and Parker.”
Alexis and John Chasse, of Spokane, sent $150. Joan Williams, of Spokane, gave $150 “in memory of Marianne Daily – who always gave.” Dick and Zella Novotney, of Spokane Valley, gave $150.
An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $111.
Michael and Doreen Lewis, of Spokane Valley, sent $105 and a note: “Thanks to all the volunteers who make this fund possible.”
Paul and Melanie Delaney and Bill Cunz gave $100 “in loving memory of Herb and Jeanette Cunz.”
Tom and Elaine, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of their parents. Other Spokane residents who gave $100: Lynn Samuels; Dana Besecker; Myrna Olson; Rita Purkett; Mr. and Mrs. L. Rogers Tompkins; Jean Jalufka; Diane and Dan Houston; Barbara Crawford and Tom Highland; Scott and Grace Hege, in memory of Clark Hege; Eric and Beth Calkins; Don and Vicki Gorder; Eileen Thorpe; Bonnie Cox; Bob and Peggy Frank; Lorraine Riddle; and Charlotte Campbell, in memory of her husband, Bruce, and daughter, Janice.
Other Spokane residents who gave $100: Two separate anonymous donors; William Skylstad; Jack and Doris Primmer; Mary and Richard Schroeder; and David Bennett, “in memory of my mother, Madeline Bennett, who I miss every day but especially during the Christmas holidays.”
Spokane Valley residents who gave $100: an anonymous donor; an anonymous couple; Peter and Beth Weller; and John and Elizabeth Mertens, who wrote: “The need is so great everywhere. Hope this little bit helps.”
Also giving $100: An anonymous couple from Nine Mile Falls; Susan Mincey, of Medical Lake; an anonymous donor from Mead; Paul and Charlotte Hudson, of Clayton, Wash.; Leslie and Meredith Hilby, of Liberty Lake; and John, Debbie and Michelle Melius, of Veradale, “in loving memory of Frank, Izzy, Joe and Helen.”
Thomas Sutherland donated $96.80 via PayPal.
George and Ruth Swan, of Spokane Valley, gave $75, as did Carol Phelps, of Spokane. Phyllis Eide, of Spokane, donated $75 “in honor of my mother, Jacqueline Eide, who shared her love of giving with many generations of schoolchildren in her teaching career.”
Phyllis Hanson, of Spokane, gave $55.
Spokane residents who donated $50: Beatrice and Gerald Scheele; Annette and Peter Sanburn; Dan and Wendy Eacret; Frank Armstrong; and Rovelia Vawter, who wrote: “Want to help put some hope and joy into a child’s life.”
Other Spokane residents giving $50: James Marshall; Robert and Connie Mackleit; Vern and Donna Knudsen; Virginia Stare; J.E. and K.A. Flechel; William and Ida Young; an anonymous couple; and Harriet Watkins, in memory of her husband, Zeke, and her son, Mike.
More Spokane residents giving $50: Don and Creta Kunz; Rita Giebel, who wrote “Bless your efforts!”; Thomas and Shannon Frasher; Maren and Brian Bofenkamp, in memory of Brian’s father, Lloyd Bofenkamp, “who would offer help to anyone who needed it!”; Michael Rooth; Jerry and Karen Flikke; and Betty Frost, “in memory of Jack E. Frost Sr., from his family.”
Renee and David Collingham, of Spokane, sent $50 and wrote: “This is the first time we have donated, but with hard times we wanted to be part of the tradition of giving in Spokane.” Gerry Giles, of Spokane, sent $50 “in memory of my wife, Arlene Giles, who passed away of cancer on Sept. 18, 2010.” Another anonymous donor from Spokane gave $50.
Also giving $50: An anonymous couple from Cheney; an anonymous couple from Mead; Jack Blake, of Coeur d’Alene; Betty and Russ Hite, of Spokane Valley; the Repp family, of Spokane Valley, who wrote: “We hoped we could help a little”; and Robert and Cecile LaFountain, of Spokane Valley.
Diana Flory, of Otis Orchards, gave $40, as did Claudia and Rich Kroll, of Nine Mile Falls.
Laura and Steven Nestoss, of Greenacres, gave $35 in memory of William Nestoss, “who always gave to the Christmas Fund.”
Barbara Manley, of Spokane, gave $30 in memory of Rick. Ann Carey and Patty Rabel sent $30 in memory of their dad, Ken Rabel. Jim and Sandie Lee Donahue, of Spokane Valley, also gave $30.
Spokane residents who gave $25: Two separate anonymous donors; Max and Betty Saxton; Virginia Terpening; Christine Hobbs; Jean Rabe; and Cynthia Duseky. Rose and Charles Carver, of Medical Lake, also gave $25, as did Helene Howard, of Priest River, Idaho.
Master Sgt. Rolf Walling, of Spokane, sent $15.
An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $10.
Anna Edmonds, of Spokane, gave $6.