There are about 100 volunteers who keep the Christmas Bureau running smoothly each of the 10 days it is open. But behind the scenes are numerous businesses that also have important roles in keeping the Bureau running.
Volunteers spend all year buying toys and books, usually at a discount, but those items have to be stored somewhere. ABC Mini Storage in Spokane Valley provides storage units at a generous discount. Parsons Construction Company and Penske Truck Rental both help haul items from the storage units to the Spokane County fairgrounds when the Bureau is getting ready to open.
The Sprague Walmart and the Fred Meyer on Thor offer discounted toys and help with delivery. The Fred Meyer also provides wristbands used in the child play area. Caruso’s Floors donates a carpet for the play area.
Many groups also step up to collect items that will be handed out to Bureau recipients. The Spokane Chiefs do their annual teddy bear toss, and Central Valley High School also does a version of the teddy bear toss to collect more stuffed animals. The Vets Garage made wooden toy trucks.
Providence Health Care and St. Mary’s Catholic School both collect children’s pajamas for distribution at the Bureau. St. Vincent de Paul collects gloves that are given to single adults who visit the Bureau.
Jim Custer Enterprises and LCD Exposition Services do the setup, including the lighting, drapes and more. Earthworks Recycling provides storage and pickup of cardboard.
Toys are moved around the fairgrounds on carts donated by Costco. After recipients pick out their toys, they are placed in large bags provided by Bunzl. Books for each child in a home are place in bags provided by Yoke’s Foods.
There is live entertainment every day at the Bureau. In addition to the musicians who donate their time, A to Z Rental provides a stage at a discount. Hoffman Music contributes sound equipment for the stage.
The volunteers also have to be fed, and several companies step up to help with that. Luigi’s Restaurant provided a pasta lunch on the first day of setup, and Pizza Pipeline sent discounted pizza for volunteer orientation.
Both URM and Cravens Coffee brought coffee and cups. Arby’s made lunch every day for all 100 volunteers. Albertsons and Safeway stores provided candy that is given to single adult recipients and donuts for the volunteers.
Donations to the Christmas Bureau continue to come in slowly as the deadline approaches. New donations of $8,125.40 have pushed the year-to-date total to $445,671.84. The goal is to raise $525,000, leaving the fund $79,328 away from the needed amount.
There are only days left to make a difference. PayPal donations must be made by Tuesday to allow time for processing, and donations by check must arrive by Wednesday. Any donations received after that will be credited toward the 2018 Christmas Bureau.
Donald and Donna Rockstrom of Spokane gave $2,000. “Thank you for the help you provide to our community,” they wrote. Dupree Building Specialties of Spokane sent $2,000. James and Jean Moore donated $1,500. Mark Wagner of Spokane gave $500. Daniel Hagerman donated $300 via PayPal.
Janet Walker and Kathleen Hull of Colbert gave $200. C.W. Savitz of Spokane sent $200 via PayPal. “Thank you for all you do,” he wrote. Joseph and Jeanie Hensley of Spokane donated $200.
Anne Laflamme, D. Gerald Searfoss of Spokane and Cynthia Hallanger each donated $100 via PayPal. Two anonymous donors each gave $100. Janet and Paul Bostian donated $100 via PayPal in memory of Beverlee Hooper. An anonymous Spokane donor sent $100. Linda Ensign and Ken Gerard of Spokane gave $100.
Lois Richards of Spokane gave $75 via PayPal. “I earlier made a donation of $175 but I am concerned the campaign may fall short so I am adding a second donation this year,” she wrote. “Good luck!”
Gerald Krumbholz of Liberty Lake sent $50 via PayPal, as did Gloria Kisebach. Peter and Janet Grossman of Spokane sent $50, as did Nancy and Charles Young of Spokane. An anonymous Airway Heights donor also contributed $50.
An anonymous Spokane donor gave $50. “The Christmas Bureau is not only a blessing for those who stand in line for hours to receive probably the only gift that they can give their children on Christmas day, but also a gift to those of use who work at the Bureau,” the donor wrote. “I hope I can continue to give my time for as long as I am able. Blessings to all!”
Don and Ellie Harding donated $25.44 via PayPal in memory of their parents. Victoria Hertz sent $25 via PayPal.
For donations made through PayPal, The Spokesman-Review contributed the processing fee.
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