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  • Making a difference, dollar by dollar

    Earlier this month, The Spokesman-Review published a story that touched on the history of the Christmas Bureau. The article explained that the Christmas Fund started in 1945 as a fundraiser …


  • Charity fund swells with region’s generosity

    On Christmas Eve, a day holding such symbolic promise, The Spokesman-Review’s annual Christmas Fund reached and surpassed its goal of $500,000. No nail-biting. No down-to-the-wire tension. No uncertainty.


  • ‘Emotional month’ adds to season

    When City Editor Addy Hatch asked me in October to be the newspaper’s 2009 Christmas Bureau reporter, my first reaction was, “Sure, but can we do it in February?” With …


  • Fund hits mark, thanks to generosity

    Merry Christmas, Spokane. You did it. Thanks to $23,048 in new donations, the Christmas Fund now totals $501,380, surpassing the largest goal ever set for the 64-year-old charity.


  • Kids share giving spirit

    When Spokane residents Larry and Renee Cebula first told their son about the Christmas Bureau – a place where needy families can “shop” for Christmas presents for free – Sam’s …


  • Record number of families, from all over, helped by fund

    Early on, organizers of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund said the need was great. Turns out, it also was widespread.


  • Gifts large, small and huge build Christmas Fund

    Every donation to the Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund is valuable and needed, from the $5 bills sent inside Christmas cards to the large donations from businesses attached to company stationery. Not …


  • Teenage helpers’ skills are priceless

    Christmas Bureau volunteers come from all walks of life. Some have never had to worry about affording to feed their families. Others, at some point while the bureau was open, …


  • it’s bureau’s last day

    The 2009 Christmas Bureau will shut its doors today after 10 days of service to the Spokane area’s neediest families. Meanwhile, the Rev. Msgr. Frank Bach, a retired Catholic priest …


  • Donors hail from all walks of life

    Some donors give their names, perhaps hoping to spur friends and colleagues to donate, too. Others, including some of Spokane’s most well-known figures, prefer to remain anonymous.While the vast majority …


  • Many visitors are new to need

    Christmas Bureau volunteers say they’re hearing it over and over: Recipients are seeking help from the charity for the first time, often because a family member recently lost a job. …


  • Clients go through a lot to get to Christmas Bureau

    If you’ve driven down Sprague Avenue where it meets with Havana Street in the last week, you might have noticed more people than normal waiting for the bus. Often, they’re …


  • Toys’ diversity reflects need

    For recipients at the Christmas Bureau, making your way through the line can take a couple of hours or more. As efficiently as the volunteers work, it takes time to …


  • Kindness in other words

    Imagine being poor and hungry and wanting to celebrate Christmas with your family. Now imagine you don’t understand the language spoken where you live. You don’t know where or how …


  • Bearing down on Christmas Bureau

    Supporters of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund help the charity in various ways. Some send a donation. Others give their time.


  • Christmas Bureau volunteers set the tone

    Spokane Valley resident Sally Olson has spent the past two days entering data about recipients into a computer system, tracking names, addresses, income and other information about some of the …


  • Christmas Bureau welcomes a crowd

    To a family waiting outside the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center’s gates Wednesday morning, not even 7-degree weather could keep them from being first in line on what turned …


  • Christmas Bureau doors to open today

    Let the giving begin. The Spokesman- Review Christmas Bureau opens today, poised to distribute grocery vouchers, toys and books to more than 32,000 people between now and Dec. 19.


  • Pitching in for neighbors’ sake

    In the cold warehouse-like buildings of the Spokane Fair and Expo Center, volunteers hustled Monday to unload 16,000 toys from semi-trailers and begin setting up the annual Christmas Bureau, which …


  • Charity distributes food vouchers to those who can’t get to bureau

    As social service coordinator at the O’Malley Apartments, a low-income housing complex run by Catholic Charities, Lynette Jensen sees the struggles Spokane’s poorest people face. Many are elderly or have …


  • Generosity spans more than 60 years

    Since it began 64 years ago, the basic elements of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund have remained the same. Men, women and children have opened their wallets and hearts to help …


  • In-kind donations help, too

    When Clint Branz and his wife, Cheryl Custer-Branz, began volunteering for the Christmas Bureau seven or so years ago, the couple couldn’t help but notice the sub-par equipment organizers used …


  • Woodworkers on a roll donate hundreds of toys

    Psst. Jack and Helen Eskeberg, Hugh James and about six of their friends have a secret.


  • Groups to bring their gift of music to holiday bureau

    When Sean Kane took the job as Gonzaga Preparatory School’s director of choirs last year, the seniors in his jazz choir gave their new teacher a lesson. “They said, ‘We …


  • Early donors give Christmas Fund a boost

    Organizers of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund work throughout the year selecting toys, coordinating volunteers, and drumming up support for the Christmas Bureau. But they’re not the only ones who keep …


  • Charities struggle with growing needs, plunging donations

    On his recent rounds delivering food to homebound elderly and disabled people, a Meals on Wheels volunteer noticed that one of the recipients didn’t look well. The driver sees the …


  • Among fundraisers’ challenges: Fears that some abuse resources

    Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery Executive Director Amy Swanson says it’s the question she most often hears: “What about the people who abuse your system?”


  • Charity’s goal inches up to $500,000

    Volunteers of America Executive Director Marilee Roloff once read something Oprah Winfrey said, and it has always stuck with her. When Winfrey was 12 and living on welfare with her …


  • For co-chair of Christmas Bureau, a call to compassion

    When the Rev. Kenny St. Hilaire was about 7 years old, he thought he might want to be a priest one day. The youngest of seven children in a devout …

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