The Christmas Bureau needs a little last-minute help from local residents with woodworking skills who are willing and able to make a few simple wooden trucks in the next week.
The small wooden trucks have been a Christmas Bureau tradition for years and are relatively easy to make, said volunteer Janet “Pinki” Culbertson. The trucks may be small and simple, but they’re in demand. “Some people come every year and get a truck,” she said.
Culbertson has spearheaded the wooden truck effort every year and typically works with the VetsGarage, a woodworking shop that provides a place for veterans to make a wide variety of wooden objects.
This year Culbertson has only 100 trucks on hand, and the opening of the Christmas Bureau is less than a week away.
“They don’t have the manpower for it,” she said of the VetsGarage.
She has several prototypes she can give to people to use as templates. “I donate the wood,” she said. In the past she has also purchased the wheels and the wooden dowels that serve as axles.
Culbertson said she knows it’s a last-minute request but is hopeful she can get a few more trucks ready to go.
“I know there’s guys out there who will do it,” she said. “I don’t want this to die. This is such a neat tradition.”
People can also put their own personal touch on the trucks they make, she said.
“They can change it,” she said. “It can just be something along those lines.”
Anyone interested in making a few wooden trucks can contact Culbertson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New donations of $36,436 have brought the year-to-date total to $114,702.59, but there’s still a long way to go to meet the goal of $535,000 by Christmas.
Travis Pattern and Foundry, which sends a generous donation to the Christmas Bureau every year, sent their donation in early this year. Last year it came in over the last weekend before Christmas, part of an astonishing $99,723.35 that came in at the last minute to push the critically lagging donation total to within a couple thousand of the needed goal.
This year’s donation, as always, was $35,000.
“The owners and employees of Travis Pattern and Foundry again wish to donate the funds that we would have spent on a Christmas party to your fund,” wrote company president Travis Garske. “We are very pleased to enclose a check in the amount of $35,000. We hope we can help make Christmas a little brighter for some Spokane families. We wish everyone a wonderful Christmas and a great new year in 2020.”
An anonymous Spokane donor sent $200, writing “Thank you for providing this service to others in need.” Barry Benoit, of Hauser, Idaho, donated $200. Ron Collins, of Pullman, gave $150.
Jacqueline and James Vroman, of Spokane, contributed $100. Patricia Wright, of Spokane Valley, donated $100. John and Jody Beck, of Spokane Valley, gave $100 in memory of Fern Johnston. Vince and Barb Beck, of Colbert, donated $100, as did Sharon Boyer, of Spokane Valley.
Raland and Cindi John, of Spokane, sent $100. “Once again we are fortunate to be able to contribute to the SR Christmas Fund,” they wrote. “We appreciate that the funds and donations you receive are given back to the people in the Spokane community. Thanks for all you do, and the volunteers.”
Ray and Liz Schatz donated $56. “This is the 26th year without Karen Schatz Dunning,” they wrote. “She would have been 56 this year. We donate again in her memory. We thank the Bureau for all you do for the community.”
Brian and Maren Bofenkamp, of Spokane, donated $50. “We are thankful for our healthy grandsons, Kayden and Kyler, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas,” they wrote. An anonymous Spokane donor gave $50.
Joseph Toombs Jr., of Spokane Valley, donated $50 “on behalf of Lois Toombs – mom – and California Highway Patrol dispatchers.” Karen Chicha, of Spokane, sent $50.
Pamela Fremd, of Spokane, contributed $30.
Editor’s note: This article was changed on Dec. 6, 2019 to correct the spelling of Jody Beck.
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