November 28, 2011 in City

Donors blaze trail for season of giving

Gifts received all year for Christmas Bureau
The Spokesman-Review
 
About the Christmas Bureau

How to give

By mail: Donations may be sent to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 516, Spokane, WA 99210.

In person: Deliver your donation to the guard in the lobby of the Spokesman-Review offices in downtown Spokane (999 W. Riverside Ave.) or Coeur d’Alene (608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200).

Online: Readers can donate via PayPal at www.spokesman.com/sections/christmas-fund. If you donate online, PayPal will deduct 30 cents plus 2.9 percent of your gift for its service.

ID requirements

• Christmas Bureau recipients face no income requirements, but each adult and child who receives a gift must meet identification requirements.

• Adults must bring photo ID for themselves and every person living in the household older than 18. In addition, each adult must show their latest utility bill, phone bill or rent receipt, which must list their name and current physical address. (P.O. boxes are not accepted as addresses.)

• For children, bring a document from a school, day-care center, DSHS office or another social service agency verifying each child’s name, address and date of birth. WIC folders are also accepted as ID for children.

Note: Social Security cards are not valid identification for the Christmas Bureau.

Planning for the Christmas Bureau happens all year, as toy buyers put in their hefty orders early and book buyers hunt for bargains.

The bulk of donations to the Christmas Fund, which pays the bills at the annual charity that distributes gifts to people in need, are usually received between Thanksgiving and the end of the year, when the fund officially closes for the year. But some giving happens all year.

Donations that trickled in through the year gave the Christmas Fund an early boost toward its $525,000 goal, which is higher than last year’s goal of $500,000.

That’s because need is even greater, organizers said.

“I’ve never seen times like this,” Rob McCann, executive director of Catholic Charities of Spokane, told volunteers at a meeting earlier this month.

Because of the stressed economy, “poverty is reaching further and further into new populations,” he said.

Last year the bureau served 35,612 people.

The Christmas Bureau, organized by Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America in conjunction with The Spokesman-Review, distributes toys, books and grocery vouchers to adults and children.

Among the early gifts, totaling $15,690.46:

Premera Blue Cross donated $5,000.

Leisure Concepts also gave $5,000.

Carolyn Clark, of Spokane, gave $1,991.71.

The Clarence Colby Memorial Fund gave $1,009.85.

John and Marlene Connolly, of Spokane, gave $500. They sent a note: “Thanks to the ‘Charity Geraghty sisters,’ ” Sheila Geraghty and Brigid Krause.

An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $300.

Carol Haugen, of Spokane, gave $250. Frederic Emry, of Spokane, also gave $250.

Tina McElligott donated $245 via PayPal.

The Mukogawa Fort Wright Institute gave $200. “The students of Mukogawa would like to express their gratitude to the Spokane community for providing them with valuable experiences of learning about American culture,” read an accompanying note. Sharon Arnold, of Deer Park, also gave $200.

Derek Freeman donated $193.90 via PayPal.

An anonymous donor from Spokane gave $150.

Giving $100: Bob and Amy Lutz, of Spokane; Elaine Myers, of Spokane; and Rhonda Krauss, of Spokane.

Erlinda Fry, of Spokane, gave $50. Ted and Louise Otto, of Cheney, also gave $50.

The rest of the donations received since the end of last year’s campaign will be reported Tuesday.


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