He used to deliver the roast-beef sandwiches. Now he’s a Christmas Bureau volunteer.
It takes both kinds of gifts – of time and of commodity – to make the charity run, in addition to donations to the Christmas Fund.
“I always wondered what was going on in there,” said Dave McGann, who owns five Arby’s restaurants in the Spokane area and would drop off lunch in the bureau’s behind-the-scenes break area. “I always wanted to go in there.”
Arby’s still provides sandwiches for the bureau’s 100 or so volunteers every day, but McGann works at the bureau’s intake tables. He said it’s an experience he treasures.
“Although the businesses and individuals are really struggling now – we all have been in the last few years – somehow this community comes through every year,” McGann said. “… I think it’s one of the best things Spokane does every year.”
The Christmas Bureau gives toys, books and grocery vouchers to thousands of families in need. It’s organized by Catholic Charities Spokane, the Volunteers of America and The Spokesman-Review. It’s paid for by donations to the Christmas Fund.
Last year, volunteers – 363 in all, over the bureau’s 10 days of operation – gave about 7,250 hours.
As for in-kind donations, it takes all kinds. This year, in addition to the sandwiches from Arby’s:
• Jim Custer Enterprises, working with LCD Exposition Services, gave labor and supplies to transform the warehouselike space at the fairgrounds into red-and-white-walled rooms and queues.
• ABC Mini Storage donated year-round storage space and the use of a truck.
• National Storage Center also donated a year-round storage unit.
• Service Paper Co. and Fred Meyer donated bags parents can use to carry their children’s gifts.
• The House of Charity makes soup every day for volunteers’ lunches.
• Cravens Coffee and URM Stores donated coffee and cups.
• Costco donated the use of flatbed carts that volunteers use to transport toys and supplies.
• Earthworks Recycling takes away cardboard boxes that toys and other supplies arrive in.
• Spokane’s Hoo-Hoo Club provided wooden trucks for distribution in the bureau’s child care area.
• The Spokane Chiefs and the Technology Student Association at Central Valley High School donated stuffed toys to supplement the bureau’s stock of gifts.
• Providence Health Care donated about 150 toys collected in collaboration with bureau organizers through an employee toy drive.
• Yoke’s Fresh Markets donated doughnuts for volunteers.
Readers’ donations to the Christmas Fund gave it a boost to $201,057.46. The goal is to raise $525,000.
Patrick Sullivan, of Spokane, gave $1,000. Another donation of $1,000 arrived with the note: “Love, joy and peace to all – Benson on Rockwood Blvd.”
Morris Wolff, of Spokane, gave $500 “in loving memory of Dean M. Wolff.” An anonymous donor from Spokane also gave $500, as did Bob and Mary Eckenrode, “to honor the memory of our dear friend, Karen Kersul, who gave so much to others in her lifetime.” Harold and Rosemary Balazs, of Mead, also gave $500.
An anonymous couple from Spokane gave $400 “in memory of Dr. Robert Mathias, an outstanding doctor, a good friend and a wonderful mentor.” Gust Abariotes, of Spokane, also gave $400.
Donors who gave $300: an anonymous donor from Chattaroy; William and Norma Main, from Touchmark in Spokane; Steven and Lorrie McNutt, of Spokane; Tek Manufacturing, of Spokane Valley; and John and Elizabeth Mertens, of Spokane Valley.
Giving $250: Norval and Korlyn Luth, of Veradale; Nathan Narrance; and David and Carol Arnold, of Spokane.
Gary and Sharon Randall, of Colbert, gave $225 in memory of their parents, Pres and Margaret Cleveland and Les and Clara Randall.
Market Equipment Co., of Spokane, gave $220. Pathology Associates Medical Laboratories and its employees also gave $220.
Dick and Lola Lile, of Spokane, gave $200. Lola Lile wrote that it was her 50th year of giving to the fund and that she wanted their gift to honor her parents, Ellen and Robert Houx, as well as Dorothy Powers, “who wrote such inspiring articles which started my parents giving to the Christmas Fund.”
Other Spokane residents who gave $200: Joseph and Janice Kaley; Neil and Brigid Krause; Donald and Diana Storey; and Ken and Joann Dunlap, in memory of Grampa Joe. Dawn, Jerry and Megan Goertz, of Medical Lake, gave $200 in memory of their parents and grandparents James Soderman and Herbert and Florence Goertz. The Spokane chapter of the International Footprint Association also gave $200.
Bill Molsberry gave $193.90 via PayPal, as did an anonymous donor.
Spokane residents who gave $150: Erlene Manning; Alexis and John Chasse; Catherine Lundberg; Deborah Demars; Marcia and Tom O’Leary; Carl and Dennie Crowe, in honor of their parents, Marse and Hugh Dressel and Mary and Carl Crowe Sr.; and Diane and Paul Tapp. James Kearney, of Spokane Valley, also gave $150.
Chad Knutsen gave $145.35 via PayPal on behalf of his parents, Denis and Irene.
The Spokesman-Review Craft Fair gave $125.
Spokane residents who gave $100: Carl Otoski; Ben and Eileen Fawcett; Richard Makovsky; Sharon Grimmer; Frank Franciscovich; George and Barbara Stevens; John and Dolores Skelton; Fred and Gayle Fox; Del and Donna Topoll; Gary and Andrea Gunning; Gordy and Nita Alexander; William and Harriet Plucker; Dorothy Brennan; Richard and Christy Pospahala; Hal and Marilyn McGlathery; Kenneth and Karleen Blanchard; and six separate anonymous donors.
More Spokane residents who gave $100: Janice Kjelland-Sather, in memory of her father, Roland Kjelland; Sharen Robertson, in memory of her husband, Dave Robertson, and grandson, Austin McKenzie; and Debra and Stephen Piper, in memory of David J. Morse. The Spokane Sea Hawkers also gave $100.
Spokane Valley residents who gave $100: Don and Joan Morse; Mary Cameron; Rich and Terry Hagelin; and the Roy Howerton family.
Others who gave $100: Paul and Melanie Delaney and Bill Cunz, in honor of Herb and Jeanette Cunz; Bette and Tom Brattebo and family, of Liberty Lake; a group of colleagues on behalf of Lakeside Middle School in Nine Mile Falls; Mary and Harold Balzert, of Nine Mile Falls; and an anonymous donor from Colbert.
Spokane residents who gave $75: Phyllis Hanson; Morris Slavens; and Mary Lee Gaston, in memory of Leon Gaston, “who gave his life for others in all he did for children.”
The Vasa Swedish Lodge, North Star No. 145, donated $75. The group’s name was misspelled in a previous report of donations.
An anonymous donor from Spokane Valley gave $70.70. “I want to do my part in helping,” he wrote. “I’m in good health at 92 years, so feel very fortunate.”
The following Spokane residents gave $50: Rebecca and John Severinghaus, in memory of their mothers; Dick and Ann Collins; an anonymous donor, in honor of their parents; Harry and Bonnie Larrison, “in loving memory of Levi and Tiffani”; Veronica and Christine Lette; Raelee Easton; James Marshall; Vern and Donna Knudsen; and John and Sharon Hopper.
Other Spokane residents who gave $50: Mary Benham, “as a gift from Diane Malone and her family in San Antonio and San Francisco”; Tony and Suzanne Bamonte, in memory of Al and Mae Schaeffer; and Christine Carroll. Inland Empire Paper Co., of Spokane, gave $50 on behalf of employee James German.
Spokane Valley residents who gave $50: Ada Lowe, in honor of her sister, Carol Peterson; Nancy Hood; and Doris and William Anderson.
Others who gave $50: an anonymous donor from Spangle; Marilyn Schafer, of Los Angeles, in honor of her nephews, Kevin Schafer and Dave Schafer, and their families; Jim and Marti Abrahamson, of Cheney; Pat Dretke, of Kettle Falls, Wash.; Sara Jones, of Cheney, in memory of her husband, Sherwood Jones; Chuck and Janet Hafner, of Spokane Valley; and Scott and Leslie Huff, of Kingwood, Texas.
Terry Pittman gave $48.25 via PayPal.
Ray, Liz and Kiley Schatz and Jared and Lauren Smith gave $48 in memory of Karen Schatz Dunning, who would have been 48 this year.
Chris and George Riebe, of Spokane, gave $40.
Jay, Debbie, Zack and Jenna Humphrey, of Spokane, gave $35 in memory of Vera Romero. Mike and Dorothy McMurtery, of Spokane, gave $35 in memory of Larry Poole.
Spokane residents who gave $25: an anonymous donor; Marg Swanson; Marge Boyles; Barbara and Bill Whalen; Arnold and Joyce Thompson; Gail Kiser; Barbara Manley, in memory of her husband, Rick, father-in-law, Clyde, and son-in-law, Rick; and Lawrence Smith. An anonymous donor from Spokane Valley gave $25 in memory of Joe Seipp.
Norma MacArthur gave $23.97 via PayPal in memory of the Mellick family.
William and Loralee Silverthorne, of Spokane, gave $20, as did Melvin Pryor, of Spokane. An anonymous donor also gave $20.
Christine Hobbs, of Spokane, gave $16.
Herbert Brimble, of Spokane Valley, gave $15.
An anonymous donor from Cheney gave $10. Another anonymous donor also gave $10.