Thousands of adults who arrive at the Christmas Bureau each year are just there for their kids. They’re grateful for holiday gifts so their children can have a brighter holiday during otherwise tough times.
The families also receive a $15 to $30 food voucher toward a holiday meal. While those adults don’t expect much for themselves, some extra warmth is heading their way this year. It’s tucked into a new project called “Gloves of Love.”
The Spokane district council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul collected and purchased 2,500 gloves to give as gifts for adults when the bureau opens next Thursday at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.
Christmas Bureau coordinator Judy Lee said the 2015 glove project will bring cheer to some adults who don’t have children but come to the bureau to receive vouchers.
“For the past few years, we haven’t had anything else to offer them other than a small candy cane and a stuffed animal,” she said. “These will be a wonderful gift for these folks.”
Bo Cunningham, treasurer of the St. Vincent de Paul society serving Eastern Washington’s poor, said its members help needy people on a daily basis and decided to support the bureau with the glove project to reach more people.
“Most of the gloves are brand-new; some are slightly used,” Cunningham said. “We had collection boxes at a number of parishes through the Spokane area, and members donated.
“We just want to keep people warm during the winter. We know that some people don’t afford themselves those luxuries,” Cunningham said.
The society used some of its donated funds to buy about 600 to 700 pairs of gloves, and the rest were given by parish members.
Paul Machtolf, president of the society, said the nonprofit is part of an international lay Catholic organization and extends its work around the Inland Northwest, Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities. The international organization is headquartered in Paris, and the national council is in St. Louis.
“With our council, we primarily work in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane, and we work with people in need,” Machtolf said. “We help anyone who is in need.”
Now the Christmas Bureau needs the help of donors to pay for other gifts provided by the bureau, where families can select one toy and one book for each child, in addition to the food vouchers. The 2015 goal is to raise $525,000, and donations of any size are welcomed.
Last year, more than 1,400 donors pushed the total to $531,164. This year’s contributions to date have brought in $72,207.35.
Ronald Schoenberger, of Spokane Valley, gave $5,000. He wrote, “To the volunteers of the 2015 Spokesman-Review Christmas Bureau: Shirley Schoenberger loved Christmas. She also appreciated the wonderful job all the volunteers did working behind the scenes of The Spokesman-Review Christmas Bureau. For over 20 years, Shirley and I contributed to the bureau, each year increasing our contribution 10 percent. This year in Shirley’s memory, I am attaching my contribution in the amount of $5,000 in Shirley’s memory so others may enjoy this wonderful season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all who provide their time and talent to this wonderful cause.”
Dick and Trudy Raymond, of Spokane, gave $500. “The enclosed check is given in loving memory of our relatives and friends who are no longer with us. Thank you for all you do for our community to help everyone have a Happy Christmas, and we wish everyone peace and God’s blessings in the New Year.”
Barry and Carole Jones, of Spokane, gave $500: “Holiday blessings to all who have worked for the Bureau for many years.”
Tek Manufacturing Inc., of Spokane Valley, gave $500.
Laborers’ Local No. 238, of Spokane, gave $300.
An anonymous Spokane donor contributed $250.
Jim and Dixie Moore, of Mead, gave $200, writing, “From Jim and Dixie Moore in memory of their parents Inez Moore and Steve Moore and Bill Hardt and Laura Hardt.”
James and Sue Elmer, of Spokane, gave $200.
An anonymous donor gave $200, writing, “This donation is made in loving memory of Daphne Adams, for whom the Christmas season was her favorite time of the year. She donated to the Christmas Fund for many years, and it is an honor for me to continue the tradition.”
An anonymous Deer Park resident gave $100.
Rovella Vawter, of Spokane, gave $100 with a note, “You do a great service to many people. So happy I can help a bit.”
Jerry and MaryAnne Littlemore, of Spokane, gave $100. They wrote, “Please use this donation to help someone in need this holiday season. Whether it be for food, clothes or shelter for warmth, we would want them to have it all. It would warm our hearts to wish it for them. Thank you for all that you do to help others around this time of year. We appreciate your hard work. Have a great holiday season.”
Phyllis Eide, of Spokane, gave $100 and wrote, “My contribution is to honor the giving spirit and loving heart of my mother, Jacqueline Eide, who has been a regular contributor to the Bureau over the years.”
An anonymous Spokane donor gave $100, writing, “Thank you for all your efforts for the Bureau.”
Sharon Boyer, of Spokane Valley, gave $100. Her note said, “Thank you once again for the opportunity to donate to the Christmas Bureau.”
Steve and Nancy Kiss, of Metaline, Wash., gave $50.
Martha Hakala, of Spokane, gave $50.
An anonymous donor gave $30 cash and added the note, “Thank you for all you do with the Bureau.”
Louise Inman, of Spokane, gave $25.
Sherryl Niska, of Spokane, gave $25 with the note, “In memory of my husband, Steve.”
Linda Guiher, of Spokane Valley, gave $20.
Note: For donations made through PayPal, The Spokesman-Review contributed the PayPal processing fee.
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