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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

‘We just felt it was really important this year’: Christmas Bureau donor more than doubles annual donation to $10,000

Murray Huppin, president of Huppin’s Life & Technology Connected and his volunteers donate every year to the Christmas Bureau, but this year Huppin has more than doubled the size of his donation.  (Colin Mulvany/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Nina Culver The Spokesman-Review

Many individuals and businesses are faithful supporters of the Christmas Bureau, donating every year. This year, some of those donors have increased the amount they give, citing the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those regular donors include Murray Huppin and the employees at Huppin’s/OneCall. This year’s donation of $10,000 is more than double what was sent in 2019.

“Every member of our community is a victim of the pandemic – we have all had our daily routines disrupted,” Huppin wrote in a letter. “However, this circumstance is … more heart-rending for families who have lost loved ones, had to face the uncertainty of unemployment or needed to choose between work or care for a child, parent, spouse or friend.

“More than ever, I have seen the newspaper become the target of attack for taking one position or another, likely offending the political views of every reader at some point. However, there is a particular sponsorship that The Spokesman-Review hosts that has the power to bring our community together – and that is the support of the Christmas Bureau along with Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America. Beyond even any prior year, this program has the power to add a ray of light to so many in need this season. I appreciate the Spokesman’s role in enabling this to happen.

“In honor of our employees, who have worked so hard this year, Huppin’s Life & Technology Connected and are pleased to present a check for $10,000 to kick off the drive.”

Huppin said in an interview that he felt it was important to make a donation early rather than waiting until almost Christmas. “We just felt it was really important this year,” he said.

Normally employees make a donation and the company matches it and throws in a little extra, Huppin said. “We have so many employees working remotely this year, it just wasn’t feasible,” he said.

This year’s donation came entirely from Huppin. He increased the size of the donation because he knows so many people are out of work this year, Huppin said, particularly those in the hospitality and entertainment industries.

“Some people may find themselves as recipients this year when they haven’t before,” he said.

Huppin said he wants to encourage others to donate to the Christmas Bureau if they can so that families can have a good Christmas. “This is an important public service,” he said. “I would just encourage other businesses and individuals, if they’re able to, to set aside some of their charitable giving for this fund.”


The amount of daily donations has been going up slowly, bringing the fund closer to its goal of $535,000. New donations of $18,725 have brought the year-to-date total to $107,807.83.

The Wagner Family, of Spokane, gave $1,000. Peter and Gay Witherspoon, of Spokane, sent $1,000.

Keith and Margaret Leslie, of Spokane, contributed $500. An anonymous donor from St. John, Washington, sent $500. Mike and Jeanette Ormsby, of Spokane, gave $500, writing “We very much appreciate your efforts. This is such a magical time of year and we are happy to support your work. Happy holidays to all.”

Jerry Anderson, of Spokane, donated $500. An anonymous Spokane donor gave $500. Heather Barbieri, of Spokane, gave $500. “Thanks to all the volunteers for your year-round commitment to many appreciative families in Spokane!” she wrote.

Kathleen Hull and Janet Walker, of Colbert, gave $400, writing “We hope this check will help a little. No kid should go without a toy for Christmas.”

Jim and Linda Hunt, of Spokane, sent $250. Ron and Cindy Loomis, of Colbert, donated $250.

Lois Richard, of Spokane, donated $200. Ted and Sandra Vogelman, of Spokane, sent $200, as did Julie Peck, of Medical Lake. Steve and Beth Kenney, of Spokane Valley, also gave $200.

The Quilt Charmers, a group of women who meet at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Colbert, donated $200. “Our members want to give to our community in this time of great need and felt that this fund will reach the most people and do the greatest good,” wrote secretary Linda Plett. “In addition, many members also donate charity quilts to local organizations for those in need. Thank you for all that you do.”

Lisa Freeland, of Spokane, gave $150. Pamela Cole, of Spokane Valley, sent $150.

Gail and Dave DeRoshia, of Spokane, contributed $100, writing “We hope this will help provide a Merry Christmas to those in need.” Jerry and MaryAnne Littlemore, of Spokane, sent $100. “To everyone working and helping the Christmas joy being given to those who need that extra joy,” they wrote. “We can envision their smiling faces come Christmas morning, along with the parents. It gives us warmth, that you all are helping. In memory of our parents and son.”

Soroptimist International of Spokane sent $100. “Your organization is one of the shining lights for so many families in the Spokane community during these difficult times,” wrote president Jean Kelly. “None of us a year ago could have imagined still being shut down by something like COVID-19. Your staff and volunteers deserve a big thank you for all you are doing. The members of Soroptimist International of Spokane want to give you this donation to help you be able to keep up your wonderful work and show our support for all you are doing for our community.”

The following donors each contributed $100: Martha Breneman, of Spokane; Richard Schroeder, of Spokane; Nelson and Nancy Heisey, of Spokane; Shirley Noon, of Spokane Valley; Rose Pettis, of Spokane; John and Sheila Jordan, of Spokane; Deborah and Raymond Siegel, of Greenacres; Stephen and Frances Menzel; Stephen and Roxanna Palmer, of Spokane.

An anonymous Deer Park donor gave $100. Roy and Linda Hooten, of Spokane, contributed $100, writing “Thank you for doing this for all involved!” Jack and Karen Davis, of Spokane, donated $100, writing “Thanks for all the good you do every year.”

An anonymous donor gave $80. Craig and Virginia Pearsall, of Spokane, contributed $75.

An anonymous Spokane donor gave $50 “in memory of my husband, who loved Christmas!” Peggy Estey, of Spokane, gave $50. Carol Stolp, of Cheney, sent $50 in honor of Lanny Stolp. Monica and Eddy Nagashima, of Spokane, contributed $50. Karen Chicha, of Spokane, donated $50.

Liz and Terrence Russell, of Spokane, gave $50, writing “Please accept this contribution to the fund in memory of my parents … Thank you for carrying on this superb tradition despite the many challenges this year!”

Laurie Anderson, of Spokane, sent $25, as did Lowell Lehman, of Spokane Valley. Patricia and Kirk Thomas, of Spokane, gave $20.