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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spokane’s giving spirit shines bright this year with a packed Christmas Bureau volunteer roster

Sandy Richardson, center right, a supervisor in the toy room, gives her volunteer workers a last briefing before clients began arriving at the Christmas Bureau Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, the final day of the charity that gives a toy to every child and a grocery voucher to every family who came to the event at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. Donations collected by the Spokesman-Review's annual Christmas Fund paid for the toys and food. The intake desk greets clients and verifies the number of children in each family.  (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
Sandy Richardson, center right, a supervisor in the toy room, gives her volunteer workers a last briefing before clients began arriving at the Christmas Bureau Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, the final day of the charity that gives a toy to every child and a grocery voucher to every family who came to the event at the Spokane Fair and Expo Center. Donations collected by the Spokesman-Review's annual Christmas Fund paid for the toys and food. The intake desk greets clients and verifies the number of children in each family. (Jesse Tinsley/THE SPOKESMAN-REVIEW)
By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

Hundreds of volunteers are signed up to do everything from bag toys to enter computer data when the 77th annual Christmas Bureau opens next week at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

In fact, there are so many volunteers signed up that there isn’t enough room for more, said volunteer coordinator Brigid Krause. “We are full and overflowing,” she said.

The Christmas Bureau is a joint effort with The Spokesman-Review, Catholic Charities and Volunteers of America to provide grocery store vouchers to those in need at Christmas, as well as a toy and book for each child.

Many of the volunteers who sign up return year after year for their annual dose of the Christmas spirit, but there is always (eventually) room for newcomers. “We have quite a few new volunteers, which is nice,” Krause said.

But while it’s too late to sign up to volunteer at the Bureau this year, applications can be put in ahead of time for next year. People should wait until after the new year to apply, Krause said. At that time, an application will be available at christmasbureauspokane.org/volunteer. Those who sign up will be required to pass a background check.

Once a person is signed up to volunteer, they will receive a packet in the mail in the fall asking what days they are available to volunteer and what position they would like to fill.

Then, next December, it will be time to don a volunteer shirt and any festive holiday accessories desired, and spend a few hours helping make the Christmas season brighter for those in need.

Donations

Donors have sent in $2,300 toward the 2022 Christmas Bureau, bringing the year-to-date total to $74,872.18.

Diane Kelly, of Spokane, donated $1,000 “in memory of Don Kelly, who worked at the Christmas Bureau for many years and knew the true spirit of giving. God bless all the volunteers.”

Andre and Kathy LaSalle, of Spokane, donated $500, writing “This gift hopefully will bring some cheer to kids this Christmas.”

Marguerite and Kenneth Gibson, of Spokane, gave $300. Thomas Caswell, of Spokane, donated $200.

Jean Jalufka, of Spokane, sent $150. Sharma Shields, of Spokane, gave $100. Chuck and Marcia Milani, of Spokane, contributed $50.

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