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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Every little bit given to the Christmas Bureau helps a family

UPDATED: Sat., Dec. 18, 2021

Eight-month-old Elijah Pettit rides in a shopping cart in the toy room at the Christmas Bureau this year.  (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
Eight-month-old Elijah Pettit rides in a shopping cart in the toy room at the Christmas Bureau this year. (Jesse Tinsley/The Spokesman-Review)
By Nina Culver The Spokesman-Review

The Christmas Bureau has closed for the year, handing out toys, books and grocery vouchers to 6,836 households, including 25,488 people and 13,800 children. But the task is not over yet, as the fundraising to reach the goal of $535,000 remains ongoing until the end of the month.

The Bureau, which is a collaboration between Catholic Charities, Volunteers of America and The Spokesman-Review, is entirely funded by the generous donations of community members. This year has been tough for many, as people struggled with COVID-related problems in addition to rising rents and daycare costs.

Like other years, the Christmas Bureau is not the only charity raising money at this time of year. People have to choose which organization to donate their limited funds to and the Christmas Bureau is blessed to have many faithful donors who come back year after year, sending a check and writing an encouraging note to the hundreds of volunteers who work hard to keep the Christmas Bureau operating.

Donations of all sizes are the key to keeping the Christmas Bureau going. Some generous checks are in the thousands of dollars. Other donations are more modest, coming in amounts of $100 or $50 or $20. The Bureau could not survive without the help of everyday citizens who give what they can from their limited means.

Some donors send a check for $25 and write that they wish they could send more, but every donation is a gift and every donation adds to the total that keeps the Christmas Bureau running. That $25 is enough to buy a toy, pay for a grocery store voucher or buy a couple of books.

People come to the Christmas Bureau for many reasons, but all need a little help to provide a special Christmas celebration for their family. Some have been unable to work due to illness or injury. Some are single parents struggling to make ends meet. Some are in two-parent families who still struggle financially even though both parents work. Grandparents raising their grandchildren come for a little extra help. Parents of special needs children try to juggle bills and multiple doctor and therapy appointments.

New donations of $14,285 have brought the year-to-date total to $382,909.10. There’s still a ways to go to get to the goal, but Spokane has come through for the Christmas Bureau for the last 16 years, meeting or exceeding the fundraising goal each year. Organizers hope donors will continue this encouraging trend.

DonationsDebra and Rodney Raabe, of Spokane, donated $1,000. An anonymous donor sent $1,000 via Raymond James. Meredith Paupst donated $1,000 via PayPal, writing “This donation is made in the names of Wayne and Mary Paupst.” Tom Bryant gave $1,000 via PayPal “in memory of John Clifford. Tamera and Tom hope this gift brings joy to many families this Christmas.” Kalin Boodman sent $1,000 via PayPal.

Robert and Sharon Arnold, of Deer Park, gave $750.

An anonymous Spokane donor sent $500. Maurice and Kimberly Nollette sent $500 via PayPal, as did an anonymous donor. An anonymous donor contributed $500 via PayPal, writing “Together in God’s love we will build a stronger community.” Marcia Dorwin donated $500 via PayPal, as did Brian Hirschkorn.

Maryann Cooley donated $300 via PayPal.

Dawn, Jerry and Megan Goertz, of Medical Lake, donated $250 via PayPal, writing “Once again we are thankful for being able to donate in the memories of Jim Soderman and Berg and Florence Goertz.” Susan Wolford sent $250 via PayPal.

An anonymous donor gave $200 via PayPal. Robert Grover donated $200 via PayPal, writing “This donation is made at the request of our two little granddaughters who live in Spokane and care that everyone enjoy a Merry Christmas!”

The following people each donated $200 via PayPal: Paul and Maureen Dodroe, Linda Greene, Nancy J. James, David McNeely, Terri Schmarr, Paul Grubb, Donald Barden, Any Koos Services and Cheri Susens.

Tonia and Craig Thielman donated $150 via PayPal, writing “Tonia and Craig Thielman appreciate the work of the Christmas Fund volunteers and all your time and effort in assisting the many less fortunate amongst us. Merry Christmas to all.” Daniel Muhm sent $150 via PayPal.

Linda Anderson, of Spokane, gave $100. Sherri Robinson and Stephen Ross sent $100 via PayPal, writing “We are blessed to be able to travel to New York City and see our family this Christmas and that everyone stayed safe and not impacted by the virus. Many people were not so blessed and struggled and/or lost loved ones.” An anonymous donor sent $100 via PayPal.

James Speir gave $100 via PayPal “in memory of Robin Lovejoy, who always made Christmas magical.” Sally Robinette donated $100 via PayPal in memory of Joanne Robinette. Melodie Little gave $100 via PayPal “in memory of Adrian and Wanda Nichols and their love of Christmas.”

Kassia Kain gave $100 via PayPal “in honor of the amazing Brigid Krause and her years of commitment to the Bureau. You will be missed but your legacy of kindness will live on. But happy retirement!” An anonymous donor sent $100 via PayPal.

The following people each donated $100 via PayPal: Lisa Reuter, Diane Zemke, Shirley Dicus, Sula Potter, Matthew Halpin, Shanna Cejka, Thomas Ryan, John Yancy and Michael V. Brown.

Mary Peer, of Spokane, donated $50. “Thanks for all that you do,” she wrote. An anonymous Spokane donor gave $50. Judith Colbert sent $50 via PayPal “in memory of my husband, Lonny Colbert, who loved to make memories for Christmas.”

The following people each gave $50 via PayPal; Duanita Higgins, Ping Ping, Nikolaus Krause, and Konny Sinton.

Tracy Howe, of Spokane, gave $30, writing “Thank you for everything you do. I hope this helps.” Claudia Kroll contributed $30 via PayPal.

An anonymous Veradale donor contributed $25. Mark Chapman and Cire Gray, of Deer Park, gave $25. Elizabeth Simonich donated $25 via PayPal. “Every little bit helps,” she wrote. “Thanks for what you do.” Lola Douthitt gave $25 via PayPal, as did Richard Patterson.

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