It takes about 100 volunteers a day to keep the Christmas Bureau running smoothly, providing food vouchers, toys and books for families who need help at Christmas. Feeding all those volunteers is a big task, one that a local Arby’s is happy to take on.
“We just like to do it,” said Arby’s owner Dave McGann. “We like to contribute to a wonderful, wonderful cause.”
McGann owns four Arby’s franchises in the Spokane area, and it’s his restaurant, at 10407 E. Sprague Ave., that makes a variety of sandwiches every day to keep the volunteers fueled and ready to go. They even go as far as bringing in extra help to make and deliver the sandwiches by 11 a.m. each of the 10 days the Bureau is open.
“They love to do it, too,” McGann said. “It’s more than 100 (sandwiches). We don’t want to run out.”
McGann can’t remember how many years his restaurant has fed the Bureau volunteers, but he knows it was before he started taking volunteer shifts at the computer intake stations in 2000. “I kept hearing about it but never really understood it,” he said of the Bureau. “I wanted to understand it and be a part of it.”
Arby’s is not alone in making sure the volunteers are fed. Albertsons and Safeway stores provide donuts each morning. Cravens Coffee and URM both provide coffee and cups. The volunteers spent two days getting the Bureau set up before it opened, and Luigi’s Restaurant donated pasta one day and Pizza Pipeline provided discounted pizza on the second day.
The volunteers have one more day of work ahead of them. The Bureau’s last day of operation is Monday, but a little over a week remains to raise the $525,000 needed to pay for the food vouchers, toys and books given out at the Bureau. New donations of $10,470 have pushed the year-to-date total to $307,660.95.
Cecil Nuxoll, of Spokane, donated $4,000. “I am a World War II veteran and I know those in need can use all the help the good Lord, Spokane community can share,” he wrote. “As a 98-year-old I know good times and bad times – may this family gift of $4,000 make some warmth in Spokane’s needy.”
Linda Solan donated $500. “Once again, it is my pleasure to donate to such an outstanding local charity,” she wrote. “May we all find comfort and joy this holiday season.”
Ed and Lynn Van Vliet, of Spokane, donated $500 in memory of Stu Evey. “We have plenty to be thankful for this Christmas,” they wrote. “We are blessed to live in this wonderful community and love what the Christmas Fund can do to help the less fortunate in our area.”
Marianne Connelly, of Spokane, gave $500. “Marilee (Roloff) had so many dedicated volunteers (for books) she didn’t need me this year,” she wrote. “So I will settle for sending a check – not half as much fun!”
Evergreen Cosmetic and Family Dentistry in Spokane Valley donated $500. “The entire team at Evergreen Cosmetic and Family Dentistry would like to donate $500 to brighten someone else’s Christmas,” they wrote. Tek Manufacturing in Spokane Valley also donated $500.
Brian and Mary Smith donated $300 in memory of Denny Sulpizio. Candace and Jerold Vincent, of Newman Lake, contributed $250. “We have so much admiration for all you do,” they wrote. “Thank God for people like you and your organization.”
The Neal Skaufel family donated $247. Joe and Jan Kaley, of Spokane, gave $200. “Once again we would like to donate to your special fund that helps people have a nicer Christmas,” they wrote. “Happy Holidays to the many volunteers who work to make Christmas special for so many.”
Michael and Valerie Adams, of Spokane, contributed $200. Richard Myers, of Spokane, donated $200 in honor of his wife, Sharon Myers. George and Michelene Weisbarth, of Newport, Washington, gave $200. “This is a wonderful program and we are happy to help,” they wrote. “Blessings on everyone who is a part of this program.”
Lorraine and Don Burghard, of Moses Lake, gave $200 in memory of their daughter, Vicki. “May this bring some happiness to those who are less fortunate,” they wrote. “To all you who volunteer to brighten the lives of others, may you have a blessed Christmas.”
Mary Murphy, of Spokane, sent $100 in honor of her friend, Laurie Connolly. Mark and Marcy Majeski, of Spokane, contributed $100. An anonymous Greenacres resident gave $100.
Zella Novotney, of Spokane Valley, sent $150. “We thank you and it’s good to give to a worthwhile fund again this year,” she wrote. “Our three daughters that started giving with $10 from their allowance years ago are fine and wish all the volunteers a Merry Christmas for their hard work.”
Donald Fitzgerald donated $135 in memory of Shirley Fitzgerald. Don and Marie Johnson, of Spokane, gave $110. An anonymous donor sent $105. “In memory of my parents, from their daughter,” she wrote.
William and Kay Branch, of Cheney, donated $100. An anonymous donor gave $100. Joseph Guerrinha gave $100 in memory of Joaquim and Candida Guerrinha. Two anonymous Spokane Valley donors each contributed $100, as did an anonymous Spokane donor. John and Beverly Johnson, of Spokane Valley, sent $100.
Sharon Grimmer, of Spokane, donated $100. David Looney, of Newport, Washington, gave $100 in memory of Doug Looney.
An anonymous Spokane Valley donor gave $98. “Merry Christmas to all your dear folks (volunteers) that to me is what Christmas is all about – giving and helping others,” the donor wrote.
Larry and Laura Isaak, of Deer Park, donated $75. Donna and Vernon Knudsen, of Spokane Valley, donated $50. An anonymous donor gave $50, as did Peter and Annette Sanborn. Sara Jones, of Cheney, gave $50 in memory of her husband, Sherwood Jones, who loved Christmas and children. “This isn’t much but I know that every little bit helps,” she wrote.
Gordon and Terri Radford, of Hayden, Idaho, gave $50. Tara Hamm, of Spokane, donated $50.
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