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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Early gifts launch Christmas Fund

$15,000 from Klaue Family Foundation among preseason donations

The Spokesman-Review

For some generous souls, holiday giving knows no season. Alternatively, they were running a little behind and their checks arrived too late to be tallied in last year’s Christmas Fund.

Either way, their donations – including a $15,000 check from the Klaue Family Foundation of Spokane, a repeat donor – put the first cash in the bank toward the fund’s $500,000 goal.

The Christmas Fund pays for one toy and one book each for children and grocery vouchers for anyone who needs one at the Christmas Bureau. There are no income or residency requirements; the bureau assists anyone who feels the need and meets ID requirements imposed to avoid fraud.

The newspaper seeks donations from readers to pay bureau expenses. The event is organized in collaboration with employees and hundreds of volunteers from Catholic Charities Spokane and Volunteers of America.

“No one else in the state of Washington is serving 30,000 people in 10 days the way little old Spokane is doing,” said Rob McCann, Catholic Charities’ executive director.

The number of people served last year – actually closer to 36,000 – exceeded expectations by about 4,000. Bureau coordinators anticipate that number could rise again this year.

“For a lot of the folks that walk through the doors of the Christmas Bureau, this is going to be the one good thing that happens to them after a string of bad,” McCann said.

The Christmas Fund welcomes donations of all amounts. Contributors’ names and the size of their donations will be listed daily in The Spokesman-Review. Donors who wish to remain anonymous should say so in notes accompanying their donations.

Today’s total stands at $22,525.55.

Wrote David A. Klaue of the Klaue Family Foundation’s $15,000 donation: “We are very thankful we are able to continue to contribute and be a part of a program that brings joy, brightness and many blessings to the families and organizations in need.

“The spirit and generosity of the Spokane community has helped many families experience the true meaning of Christmas. The benevolent providence and gift of giving back to assist those less fortunate, especially in these unprecedented economic times, is very rewarding.”

Carolyn Volkers donated stock with a cash value of $2,050.64.

The Clarence Colby Memorial Fund gave $1,892.51

The Spokesman-Review editorial department donated $1,151.40 through its “freebie sale.”

The law offices of Layman, Layman & Robinson, PLLP, donated $1,000.

The Guy and Ruth Reed Memorial Fund at the Inland Northwest Community Foundation donated $931.

Terry and Judy Sparrow, of Spokane, donated $500. “Please accept our check … with the hope that it will help brighten the holiday season and provide some joy in the lives of those in need during this special time of year,” they wrote.

The remainder of the donations received since last year’s fund drive will be reported in Tuesday’s newspaper.

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