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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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The spirit of giving is a Christmas Bureau tradition

Samalia Moreang, 3, left, shouts “Dora!” upon seeing a book about Dora the Explorer at the Christmas Bureau Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. At right is her sister Alycia Moreang, 2. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
Samalia Moreang, 3, left, shouts “Dora!” upon seeing a book about Dora the Explorer at the Christmas Bureau Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017 at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center. At right is her sister Alycia Moreang, 2. (Jesse Tinsley / The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver The Spokesman-Review

In life, Grandma and Pa Pa Justus enjoyed giving to those in need at Christmas. Now that they have passed on, Justus Bag Co. President Darin Justus has picked up the torch, sending a donation of $10,000 to the Christmas Bureau.

Grandma, also known as Justus Bag matriarch Dorothy Justus, died in July. Her husband, Roland “Curly” Justus, also known as Pa Pa, died in 1989. Both were big fans of the Christmas Bureau.

“The most beautiful aspect about this situation is Grandma and Pa Pa are now together after all of these years,” Darin Justus wrote. “My grandmother always talked about being together with Pa Pa and how much she missed him.

“I can just see them happily together again after all of these years. As hard as it is when you lose dearly loved family, it is comforting to know the memories we have with Pa Pa and Grandma will live on forever.”

It was their love for family that inspired Justus to send the company’s largest donation in decades of giving. “Both of my grandparents had a huge heart full of love,” he wrote. They often told stories about when they had no money, no food to feed their own family, how difficult times were for them back in the day. My grandparents would always talk about how they wanted to help those that did not have much joy or happiness this time of year.”

That spirit of joy and giving is what is needed at the Christmas Bureau. Today is the last day the Bureau will be open to hand out food vouchers for families and toys and books for children. The 10-day effort has already assisted thousands of households from the area, but there is still work to be done.


New donations of $20,495 have pushed the year to date total to $328,155.95. With only a week left before Christmas, there’s not much time to reach the goal of $525,000. Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America are counting on the generosity of the community to help pay for a special Christmas for those in need of help.

The Spokane Regional Plan Center, a faithful donor since 1994, donated $2,500. “We hope all those in the community that are considering a donation keep in mind the families and children these donations benefit,” wrote board chair Mark Maxwell. “They are not faceless causes thousands of miles away, but rather our own neighbors. All one needs to do is read the paper each day to see that the needs of those in our community are great, and every donation is vital for the Christmas Fund to meet their goal of providing a happy holiday for those less fortunate.”

“Giving whatever you can, no matter how big or small the donation, epitomizes the true spirit of Christmas and provides a blessing for those in need in our community.”

An anonymous Spokane donor gave $1,000. Tipke Manufacturing, of Spokane, donated $500. An anonymous Colbert donor contributed $500. “Thank you for doing this,” the donor wrote. Anita Lamp, of Spokane, sent $500 “in memory of my lovely niece, Victoria Lamp, who volunteers at the Christmas Bureau for many years. She is loved and missed by her family and friends.”

Gary and Susan Bloom, of Spokane, donated $500. Donald Moore, of Spokane, a retired Spokesman-Review employee, donated $500.

Richard and Lois Steury, of Liberty Lake, donated $300. Colleen and Gregory Stevens, of Spokane, contributed $300. William and Nancy Henry donated $300 in memory of their parents, Bo and Mary Henry and Robert and Marian Heglar.

Tom and Gini Burns sent $300 along with a note that read: “Many thanks for the good work on the part of all the volunteers who staff the Christmas Fund every year – what a great Christmas gift to our community!”

Two anonymous Spokane donors each gave $250. Dave and Dawn Voelker, of Spokane Valley, donated $250. “This year our donation is in honor of Rev. Msgr. Frank Bach, who was involved with the Bureau from 1964-2009,” they wrote. “Our prayers to all of the volunteers.”

Pamela and Michael Dixson, of Spokane, donated $250 in honor of Tom and Lori Huling, Karen Ithomitis and Kay Ottem. Robert Morozzo, of Loon Lake, gave $250 in honor of Donna L. Morozzo.

An anonymous Spokane donor gave $200. “Thank you for sponsoring this annual opportunity to express our community’s commitment to sharing,” the donor wrote. Brian and Sharon Brunck, of Mead, gave $115. “We have been very blessed this year and want to help those who are struggling this holiday season,” they wrote. “God bless you for the good work you do.”

Frederika Wetterhus, of Colbert, donated $100 in memory of her husband, Sam Wetterhus, and her son, Bob Wetterhus. Ralph and Sandra Laws, of Cheney, gave $100. “Sorry it’s less this year – we do what we can,” they wrote. An anonymous Cheney donor gave $100. Joan Pribnow, of Spokane, contributed $100, as did Wayne Attwood, of Spokane.

Donald and Diana Storey, of Spokane, gave $100, as did Henry and Karla Hill, of Spokane. Lianne and Fred Inaba, of Pullman, sent $100. Robert Harris, of Spokane Valley, donated $100. Jim and Lisa Northcott, of Spokane, donated $100 in memory of their first son, Andrew.

An anonymous Spokane donor gave $100. “Thank you for the opportunity of letting me participate,” the donor wrote. John Steiner, of Spokane, gave $100.

Carol Phelps, of Spokane, sent $75 with a note that said simply “Thank you.” Jerry Robinson, of Spokane, gave $70. Lois Albert, of Spokane, contributed $60. An anonymous donor in Oakesdale, Washington, gave $50, as did an anonymous Spokane donor. Eddy and Monica Nagashima, of Spokane, donated $50. Tom and Pam Ruckhaber, of Spokane, donated $50.

Donna Roloff gave $30. “Thanks for bringing Christmas to the children,” she wrote. Gail Kiser, of Spokane, sent $25 and wrote “Keep up the good work.” An anonymous Spokane Valley donor gave $25. Barb McKay, of Spokane, donated $25. An anonymous donor gave $20 “in loving memory of Annabelle.”

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