Lines were short when the Bureau opened at 10 a.m. Monday, but at the morning progressed the line grew longer as families took advantage of their last chance to take home a free book and toy for each child.
Monday was the final day of the 2017 Christmas Bureau at the Spokane County Fairgrounds.
Kaitlynn Becker brought her 9-month-old son, Luke Ross. The 21-year-old single mother is living with her mother as she studies for her GED.
Becker had planned to come Saturday, but ended up coming Monday instead and was glad to make it before the Bureau closed. She had come because she heard she could get a new book for her son.
“We don’t have a lot of books that are age appropriate,” she said.
She thought she might get a Winnie the Pooh book, but there were none. A volunteer suggested several books she might like and Becker selected a touch and feel bath time book. It had different things for babies to touch and Ross immediately reached for it, stroking the pages.
The Spokane County and City of Spokane library districts both had employees there offering library cards to those without them and waiving the late fees of existing card holders. Becker had over $41 dollars in fines forgiven.
Becker selected a 3-foot high teddy bear that came bundled with a wooden train set and a small set of wooden blocks. Ross immediately reached toward the bear and continued reaching for it as Becker held him in one arm and the toys in the other. “It’s as big as you are,” Becker said, referring to the teddy bear.
Beck was pleased with the toy selection. “I never expected to get a toy because he’s young,” she said. “I didn’t have a lot of information coming in, so I didn’t know what I was going to get.”
There is only a week left to reach the $525,000 needed to pay for the food vouchers, toys and books handed out during the 10 days the Christmas Bureau was open. Donations remain low, with new donations of $5,145 bringing the year to date total to $333,300.95. Gifts of all sizes are needed to push the fund over the top.
Tim and Jackie Randall of Cheney donated $500, as did Steven Wicks of Spokane. Larry and Joanna Kiewert of Deer Park gave $500.
An anonymous Spokane couple gave $300. “Thank you for all you do for families in Spokane,” they wrote. “What a gift!” Another anonymous Spokane donor also gave $300. “We are so grateful for the wonderful job you all do to make Christmas a bit brighter for so many,” the donor wrote. “Everyone deserves to experience the magic and wonder of Christmas!”
Richard and Kay Brightman of Spokane donated $250. Bill Fanning of Century 21 Beutler-Waterfront donated $250. Alan McNeil of Spokane gave $250, as did Virgil Duchow of Spokane.
The families of Harold, Camden, Darin and Jared Hayes donated $200 “to help those less fortunate.” William and Sharon Beck of Otis Orchards gave $200. Ann and Timothy Riordon of Spokane Valley contributed $200.
Gary and Leanne Brosius of Veradale contributed $200. “Keep up the wonderful help for all the children,” they wrote. Veterinary Surgical Specialists of Spokane donated $150.
Robert and Lola Weldin donated $100 in memory of Mary Anna Bryan. “So beautiful inside and out,” they wrote. “We miss her.” Al and Debbie Bell of Spokane gave $100. “We contribute to this gift of giving in honor of our grandchildren – Joey, Gianna and Jack. Thanks for all you do.”
George Swan of Spokane Valley contributed $100, as did an anonymous donor. Harold and Heidi Clarke of Spokane sent $100. An anonymous Colbert donor sent $100 along with a short note that read: “Thank you for your work.” Robert and Peggy Frank of Spokane gave $100. Hope Rebekah Lodge #38 donated $100.
Randall and Penny Melcher of Spokane gave $75. Jane Courtright of Spokane gave $50. “Thanks for all the good work you do,” she wrote. Myrna Schimmels of Spokane Valley donated $50 in memory of deceased family members. “Thanks for all your providing of joy to so many people,” she wrote.
Carolyn Takeuchi of Spokane sent $50 along with a note that read: “Thank you for all that you do!” An anonymous donor gave $50.
An anonymous Spokane donor gave $20. “Many years ago my daughter came to you for her children,” the donor wrote. “I am giving back in a small way. Thank you for blessing others.”
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