Collecting donations for the Christmas Bureau, a community effort devoted to providing food and toys to families for Christmas, largely takes place between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.
But each year there are a few donations that trickle in after the tallying stops, which are held over to provide a jump-start for the next year’s donation effort. There are also some people who remember the Christmas Bureau year-round, donating throughout the year through a payroll deduction.
Each year The Spokesman-Review partners with Catholic Charities and the Volunteers of America to open the Christmas Bureau to needy families during two weeks in December. This year’s Bureau is scheduled to run from Dec. 8-18 (excluding Sundays) from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each day at the Spokane County Fairgrounds at Broadway and Havana.
Families can receive food vouchers based on family size and get a toy and a book for each child. This year there will also be pajamas, but supplies are limited and they are expected to run out before the Christmas Bureau closes.
The donations received through mid-February of this year total $10,378.
Coffman Engineers sent a generous donation of $2,500 in early January 2017.
Fire Control Sprinkler Systems sent a check to the Christmas Bureau in the final days of 2016, but requested that the amount not be disclosed.
The Clarence Colby Memorial Fund sent a check for $1,303. Bert Powell, of Nine Mile Falls, gave $1,000. The Charlie and Kathy Watson Family Fund and the Hertz Charitable Fund, both run by the Inland Northwest Community Foundation, donated $1,000 each.
An anonymous donor gave a gift of $500. Robert and Claudia Jones sent their $500 donation with a note that read “Sorry to be late this year!”
Nancy Mahoney, of Spokane, donated $250. Angela and Richard Young, of Spokane, gave a gift of $200. Diana Gentry, of Spokane, donated $200 on behalf of the Quilt Charmers, a group of women who make quilts and donate them to charity.
Scott and Lori Schuldt gave $150, as did the Washington Federation of State Employees Local 1221. The union included a note expressing appreciation for the work done by the Christmas Bureau. “I am honored to present you with this contribution and hope it will help provide you with the resources you need to continue,” it read in part.
Veterinary Surgical Specialists, Linda Martin and Jeanne Sciuto, all of Spokane, and Craig Popp, of Nine Mile Falls, each donated $100. An anonymous donor gave $80. Sue and Eugene Blankenship, of Newman Lake, and Tom and Cathy Hopis, of Spokane, donated $50 each. Dale and Donna Mendenhall, of Ione, donated $25.
Edward Pierson, of Moscow, Idaho, sent his $10 donation in memory of his parents, Hilda and Harold Pierson, and his brother, Roy Pierson. He included a note that read: “Here is my $10 Christmas season donation to help needy children and families have a gift and food for a better Christmas.”
Judith Horton, of Coeur d’Alene, made two donations of $5 each.