Every year, 8-year-old Emmeline Hirt has a short Christmas list.
Since she was 4, she has asked Santa to give her presents to kids whose parents can’t afford any. In the past, her parents, Tracey and Craig Hirt, made donations to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund for that purpose.
This year, the selfless little girl saved up her allowance to make a $50 donation.
“I like helping people and I think kids should have some fun stuff to play with and do, even if their parents can’t afford it,” she said.
The money raised through the fund is given to Catholic Charities Spokane and Volunteers of America to pay for the Christmas Bureau, an annual event that serves less fortunate members of the community, providing grocery store gift vouchers, new toys and books.
Emmeline said, “It wasn’t too hard.”
Recently, Emmeline also went downtown to buy herself a toy with her allowance, but ended up donating it to another cause benefiting kids.
It’s thanks to the compassion of donors like Emmeline that the bureau is possible year after year.
“She’s a pretty special kid,” her mom said.
This year’s fund stands at $397,423.63. The goal is $525,000.
Justus Bag Company Inc. and Darin R. Justus gave $5,000 from the entire staff in memory of founder and grandfather, Roland “Curly” Justus.
Walker Construction, of Spokane, gave $3,000.
School Support Services of Spokane Public Schools gave $2,768, writing, “The employees of School Support Services of Spokane Public Schools are pleased to make a contribution of $2,768 to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund. While we take pride in supporting public education in Spokane on a daily basis, it is with glad hearts that we also support this very worthy endeavor within our community. Your efforts bring a ray of happiness to others each Christmas and is a tremendous opportunity for our community to come together and help our neighbors.”
Colvico Inc., of Spokane, gave $2,000.
John Baumhofer, of Spokane, gave $1,500, writing, “In memory of my mother and my aunt!” DuPree Building Specialties also gave $1,500.
Richard and Carol Hendershot, of Spokane, gave $1,000, writing, “We are grateful to share our blessings with the community.”
Dr. and Mrs. Michael P. Berg, of Spokane, also gave $1,000.
Patricia Caldwell and Dorothy Brown, of Spokane , gave $1,000, writing, “To all the wonderful volunteers – thank you, thank you, thank you. Please accept this donation from ‘two sisters’ in memory of mom, dad, Peggy, Craig, Rick and Jeff.”
Ted Olson, Stacy and Tom Brunke, and grandog, Fred, of Cheney, gave $1,000, writing, “My mom’s gift was her desire to do good in this world. We lost her suddenly last Christmas. Please use this to do good in the world!”
Glenn Breen gave $1,000 via PayPal. Vickerman and Driscoll also gave $1,000.
South Hill Bunco Babes gave $790, writing, “The South Hill Bunco Babes are a group of women who get together monthly for Friendship, Fellowship and Fun. We appreciate the work the Christmas Fund does here in Spokane and are glad to be able to give $790 this year in support.”
An anonymous donor gave $700.
The following donors gave $500: Russell and Diana Williams, of Spokane Valley; Donald Tuttle; Paul and Kathy Lin, of Spokane; Craig and Pauline Soehren, of Spokane; Kaith and Kathleen Mackenzie Donor Advised Fund; Brian Hawkins via PayPal; George Sullivan via PayPal; and an anonymous donor.
The Jones Family, of Spokane Valley, also gave $500, “In memory of Robert, Marybelle and Evelyn.” Morris Wolff, of Spokane, gave $500 in memory of Dean Wolff.
The Maverick Yacht Club gave $495.
The following donors gave $300: Robert and Marian Cummings, of Spokane; Julie and Jeff Morris, of Spokane; Gary and Linda Williamson, of Spokane; and an anonymous donor.
Robert and Joyce Bublitz, of Spokane, gave $250, as well as Charles and Cheryl Fox, of Bonners Ferry, and Lynn Schmidt and Alvin Schmidt.
Bill and Joyce Miller gave $250 via PayPal, “In honor of our son, Guy.” Dan and Kristen Edgar also gave $250 via PayPal.
Paul and Kelly Moorman gave $250, writing, “Thank you to all involved in making the bureau such a success!” An anonymous donor also gave $250.
The Skaufel Family gave $247, writing, “Merry Christmas.”
Dena Kaplan, of San Diego, gave $200, writing, “From the water skiers in the south in honor of Don Kelly, who left part of his heart with the Christmas Fund!”
Sarah and Emma Vogelman gave $200, writing, “A safe Christmas for all.”
Jerold and Candi Vincent, of Newman Lake, gave $200, writing, “Thank you for all those you help! Merry Christmas!”
The following donors also gave $200: Kenneth A. Elder, of Spokane; Marvin and Helen Soehren, of Spokane; Paul Grubb via PayPal; Bill Molsberry via PayPal; Daniel Orlowski via PayPal; and two anonymous donors via PayPal.
James McGranahan, of Spokane Valley, gave $155, writing, “Merry Christmas to all! In memory of my beloved Sheila.”
Carly and Calvin Crooks gave $150 via PayPal, “In memory of Mom.”
Carl and Delene Christian, of Spokane, gave $150, writing, “Thank you for organizing a way to help local people in need, especially the children. Merry Christmas!” Jeff and Becky Olson, of Spokane, also gave $150.
Theodore Ketcham gave $125 via PayPal.
Don and Marie Johnson gave $110, writing, “Congratulations to The Spokesman-Review for sponsoring the Christmas Fund and to all the volunteers that make it a success year after year. Keep up the good work!”
An anonymous donor gave $100, writing, “Thank you all for what you do for the people in our area who need a little extra help. All the time and effort you put in to make this organization successful warms our hearts. To all the people that are involved in the Christmas Fund, may God bless you all.”
An anonymous donor gave $100, writing, “To all volunteers, thank you for making Christmas special for so many.”
Patricia Paullin, of Spokane Valley, gave $100, writing, “I am making this donation to the Christmas Bureau in lieu of gifts for my seven children and their spouses.”
Judith and William Camden, of Spokane Valley, gave $100, writing, “Because your fund reaches out to help so many at this time of year, we offer this small gift in the true spirit of caring. Thank you for the joy and love you give others.”
Ray and Klea Copeland, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “Thanks for all you do for our community.”
Melanie Delaney, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “In memory of Jan Wallace, who loved Christmas and children.”
Leland and Julie Fish, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “In memory of John Kerrick and Dale Sciuchetti, who recently passed. Our thanks again to all the work you do and the volunteers.”
Sharen L. Robertson, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “In memory of Dave Robertson, husband, and Austin McKenzie, grandson.”
Thomas and Michelle Solberg, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “In memory of our parents.”
Michael and Patricia Hostetter, of Nine Mile Falls, gave $100 “In honor and in memory of my siblings, Kathy and Jerry.”
Paddy and Teri Inman, of Mead, gave $100, writing, “Thank you for the warmth, generosity, and love you instill in our community not only in this season but throughout the year!”
Elmo L. Bartlett, of Cheney, gave $100, “In memory of wife, Mariam.” An anonymous donor gave $100 via PayPal in memory of Warren Christianson. Another anonymous donor gave $100 in memory of Dr. Gaylord Bennett. Tom and Mary Brown, of Spokane, gave $100 in memory of Dan Sullivan.
The following donors also gave $100: Lenore Romney, of Spokane; Paul and Jane Chu, of Taiwan; Thomas and Susan Eastman, of Spokane Valley; Nancy L. Stone, of Spokane Valley; Norma Echelbarger, of Spokane Valley; James Kearney, of Spokane Valley; Candace Murray, of Spokane Valley; Jean Rose, of Spokane; Wayne Attwood, of Spokane; Rand and Beverly Masteller, of Spokane; Al and Vicki Falkner, of Spokane; Joel and Joan Rogers, of Spokane; Harry and Patricia Meng, of Spokane;
Mark and Marcy Majeski, of Spokane; Ann Shaw via PayPal; Jim Carollo via PayPal; Lynn Yost via PayPal; an anonymous donor via PayPal; another anonymous donor; Charles Horgan and Andrea Sharps; Thomas and Linda Hempel; Kris and Shelly Madar; Jeff Carpenter; and another anonymous donor.
An anonymous donor gave $60.
Stephanie Zoldak, of Spokane, gave $50, writing, “In memory of my mom and dad, Bette and Stephen Zoldak. Sure miss you guys! Feels like the whole neighborhood from Christmas’ of the past are heaven side with you both. Still remember Dad when you tried to get a $6.00 tree down to $5.00. It was a fun time. Behave yourself up there.”
Otto and Diana Schumacher, of Spokane, also gave $50, “In memory of a good friend, Jerry Olson.”
More $50 donors: Margaret Hiatt, of Spokane Valley; Nancy J. MacKerrow, of Spokane; Kenneth and Barbara Meng, of Spokane;
William Zobrist, of Spokane; Shirley Le Comte, of Spokane; Ruth Votava, of Spokane; Clint and Patti Degenhart, of Spokane; Larry and Laura Isaak, of Deer Park; and Jay and Marjean Agather, of Coeur d’Alene.
The following donors gave $50 via PayPal: Anna Doumit, Kendra Egly, Ralph Walter, Don Krashowetz, Julie Silliman, Daunita Higgins and an anonymous donor.
Two more anonymous donors gave $50 each.
Ronald and Jan Knapp, of Oldtown, Idaho, gave $40, writing, “In memory of my precious daughter, Dawn Hunt Casselberry, who passed away in 1999 at the age of 23, and for my dear, loving mom, Elaine Benshoof, who left us this past March. Merry Christmas and God Bless!”
Single Copy Department at The Spokesman-Review gave $34.
Mr. and Mrs. Matt DePauli, of Spokane, gave $30, as well as John and Natalie DuPree, of Spokane, and Michael and Da’Lea Cotter, of Otis Orchards.
Deborah Carpenter gave $25 via PayPal. An anonymous donor also gave $25, as well as: Scott and Carrie Rider, of Spokane Valley; Margaret L. Kobylus, of Spokane Valley; and David and Eva McChesney, of Spokane.