The Christmas Bureau opens this morning for the last three days of the season. Some volunteers spent time late last week buying more toys because the stock was getting low for a few age groups.
When the bureau opens today, there will be Star Wars: Attack of the Clones chess sets, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles scoot boards, makeup kits for teen girls, and doll buggies assembled by volunteers on Friday afternoon.
The bureau continues to be flush with children’s books, thanks to the generosity of Marilee Roloff, director of Volunteers of America. She gets thousands of books donated by Scholastic Books and distributes them to needy children throughout the year. But she saves enough books for the Christmas Bureau so each of the 17,000 or so children served by the charity gets a book for Christmas.
This year, many of the volunteers at the children’s book tables are retired teachers with plenty of experience in guiding children to age-appropriate books.
Laura Borhauer, who retired from teaching at Audubon and Arlington elementary schools, spent an afternoon last week helping parents pick out books from the thousands on the tables.
She said the Clifford books are especially popular. Clifford is a big red dog that has all kinds of adventures. Borhauer said animal picture books and the Junie B. Jones series also are well-liked.
“We’re always short of baby books because Scholastic is an educational company for school-age children,” said Donna Roloff, Marilee Roloff’s mother and a longtime volunteer at the bureau. “We do have books that parents can read to their babies.”
“We also have quite a few social studies and science books. And there are chapter books for children in third grade and above,” Donna Roloff said.
Volunteer Mary Daugharty spent Friday helping parents of older children select books. She, too, is a retired schoolteacher, and this is the first year at the bureau for her and her husband, Dave, a math professor retired from Eastern Washington University. “He worked the book table yesterday when we had some math books; today he’s bagging up the toys,” said Daugharty.
Mary Daugharty signed up for three shifts this year. “Next year, I am working every shift; I really like this,” she said.
The bureau, which distributes the fixings for Christmas to needy area families, will close for the year on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. But the Christmas Fund, which pays the bills for the food vouchers and toys distributed at the bureau, continues to need donations if it is to meet its goal of $485,000.
Donations of $14,240 brought the Christmas Fund to $276,047.75 Sunday. Donations of any amount are welcome.
Following are donors to the daily tally and their donations:
Mark Walker, president of Walker’s Furniture, of Spokane, sent $3,000 and a note: “As my children have grown up to be adults, I remember the Christmases past and the special moments I had with my family. This year my prayer is for each and every family to have a Christmas memory they can cherish. Let’s all come together this holiday season and give those families in our community who need an extra helping hand a special Christmas. This holiday season, let’s enter into the true meaning of the season. Let’s join together and spread the joy and hope of Christmas.”
Teck Cominco American Inc., of Spokane, gave $2,000. “We thank you for providing the opportunity to help those in need at this time of year,” wrote Bruce DiLuzio, vice president for law and administration.
An anonymous donor brought $2,000 to the newspaper.
Seven 2, of Spokane, and its employees donated $1,010 through employee donations and matching funds.
Dentists Creigh House and James Mengert and their staff – Jane, Serena, Sandy, Angela, Melissa, Judy, Michelle, Ronda, Linda, Annie, Pat, Kay, Vosanne and Kay – donated $1,000.
Jim and Salli Sledge, of Spokane, gave $500, as did David and Susan Hamer, of Spokane; BPS Supply Co. Inc., of Spokane, and its employees; Ryan Baddeley, of Liberty Lake; and an anonymous donor, also of Liberty Lake.
An anonymous donor, of Greenacres, donated $400 in memory of Elizabeth Higgins.
Richard and Jacqueline Manfred, of Spokane Valley, gave $300.
Bob Frank Homes Inc., of Spokane, donated $150.
Russell and Peggy Wiggs, of Spokane; Janey Wiggs and Robert D’Amato, of Lexington, Mass.; Brian and Nancy Quint, of Bellevue, Wash.; and Mychele Lindvall and Carl Le Boa, of Seattle, gave a combined donation of $150.
Robert and Maureen O’Brien, of Spokane, gave $125.
Marilyn McGee, of Spokane, sent $100, as did Robert and Marilyn Salsbury, of Spokane Valley; Creta and Don Kunz, Nancy Mahoney and Gary Matthews, Clara and Jack Shimek, Virgil and Madelyn Dedas, the Spokane Sunrise East Lions and two anonymous donors, all of Spokane.
Susan and Tracy Anderson, of Greenacres, gave $100 in honor of their grandparents, Ray and Rozella Mahoney.
Joe and Carolyn Schauble, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Carl and Edna Magee and Robert and Mary Schauble.
Lorraine Cannon, associate broker of Richardson Homes, of Spokane, donated $100 in the name of her loyal customers and clients.
St. Andrews Guild, of Spokane, donated $75.
Bob and Judy Lee, of Spokane, gave $50 in memory of Catherine Lee.
The Sacred Heart Medical Center 7 South 3-11 shift donated $50, as did an anonymous donor, of Spokane.
Alan Stacey, of Spokane, gave $50. “We have so much to be thankful for this year, and we have tried to share our good fortune with others. But there is still a greater need. People need to get involved, even if it means writing a check. I like the fact all the money collected stays local and helps our community,” wrote Stacey.
An anonymous donor, of Spokane, gave $35 in memory of Jean Morin.
Kathey Johnston donated $30.
Norm and Gail Kopp, of Mica, Wash., gave $25 in memory of their sister, Donna Harris.
Patrick and Laurie Ferrell, of Mead, donated $25.
Dorothy Capes, of Cheney, gave $15.
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