With eight days until Christmas, the Christmas Fund passed the halfway point in its seasonal fundraising efforts.
The fund, which enables the Christmas Bureau to distribute toys, books and food vouchers to thousands of low-income residents, now stands at $303,868.11. That’s thanks in part to Travis Pattern and Foundry, which sent the largest contribution received so far this year, $35,000.
“The owners and employees of Travis Pattern and Foundry again wish to donate the funds we would have spent on a Christmas party,” President Travis Garske wrote. “We are very pleased to enclose a check in the amount of $35,000. We hope we can help make Christmas a little brighter for some Spokane families.”
The fund also received a big boost of $10,000, contributed by the doctors and staff at Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists.
“We would like to take this opportunity to express our support and gratitude to the Spokane community,” they wrote. “We admire and appreciate the endeavors of the Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund and believe your organization represents the true spirit of the holidays and giving back to those in need. Thank you for continuing to inspire others by sharing what we believe truly makes the holidays most enjoyable.”
It takes donations large and small to fund the Christmas Bureau, which has received widespread community support for 67 years.
“It’s wonderful to have donations from individuals and really important to have donations from businesses, and it all adds up to what we need. That’s our hope, anyway,” Christmas Bureau coordinator Judy Lee said.
This year the fund has received 983 donations, many accompanied by notes expressing the goodwill and compassion donors have for the less fortunate in the community.
Those donors are helping people like Beatriz Carpinteyro, who went to the bureau to get Christmas presents for her 5- and 6-year old boys, Rodrigo and Roberto.
“They are counting the days until Christmas,” she said, describing how she draws a big X across each calendar day. Without the bureau, she said, she wouldn’t be able to give them a toy or book. There isn’t enough money left over after paying bills with the income her husband earns as a cook.
“This makes my family happy, especially my kids, so they get a toy,” she said. “It makes me feel pleased and thankful.”
Other new donations
Donna Hares, of Spokane, gave $500 in memory of Donald Hares.
Employees of BPS Supply Co., of Spokane, gave $500 “to aid those in need and Happy Holidays.”
Keith Mackenzie, of Spokane, gave $500, as did Ryan Baddeley.
Claude and Mable Mitson, of Spokane Valley, gave $350.
Tim and Darlene Holliday, of Spokane, gave $300 in memory of their son Russell “Air Hoss” Holliday.
An anonymous Cheney donor gave $200.
An anonymous Spokane donor gave $200. “So very glad I can help those less fortunate than me. God bless the work you do each year,” she wrote.
Darlene and David Birdsall, of Veradale, gave $200.
Alfred and Carol Stapp gave $150 “in praise of God from whom all blessings flow.”
An anonymous Spokane donor gave $110.
An anonymous Cheney donor gave $100.
Liberty Lake donors giving $100 were Virginia Besemer, Debra Dahl, and John and Teri-Ann Nystrom.
Ruedene, Jill and Bruce Chandler, of Newport, gave $100.
Spokane donors giving $100 were William Plucker and three anonymous donors.
Libbie Coleman, of Spokane Valley, gave $100 in honor of one of her 16 great-grandchildren, Haily Coleman, whose birthday was 12/12/12.
Scott Mankin, of Spokane Valley, gave $100, writing, “Many thanks to all that help out!”
Michael Hughes, of Spokane, gave $52.
Edward and Susan Leach, of Coeur d’Alene, gave $50.
Spokane donors giving $50 were Mary Lou Downhour, Kathleen and John Langenheim, Jarrell, James and Janet (no last name given), and Gerry Rose, who gave in memory of her husband, Arlen Rose. “Thank you for your good deeds,” she wrote.
Marilyn Miller, of Spokane, gave $35, writing, “Each year the need seems to be greater. It’s a blessing to have volunteers so willing to help others have a more joyous Christmas!”
Margaret Kobylus, of Greenacres, gave $25, as did Lorina Schwartz, of Spokane.
Anda and Kevin Hsu, of Spokane, gave $20, as did an anonymous donor.