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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Warming hearts and hands: Church glove drive for the Christmas Bureau remembers adults in need

By Nina Culver For The Spokesman-Review

While one of the key purposes of the Christmas Bureau is to provide toys and books for every child at Christmas, there are always warm pairs of gloves set aside for adults with no children in the home who come for a grocery store voucher.

For nearly a decade, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane has spent November collecting gloves at parishes across Eastern Washington to be handed out at the Christmas Bureau. “It’s across the diocese,” said Bo Cunningham, treasurer of the Spokane Council of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

The idea for the “Gloves with Love” drive came after he saw pictures of people standing in line in the cold for the Christmas Bureau, Cunningham said. Many were not wearing gloves.

So far this year, parish members have donated 2,800 pairs of winter gloves for the Christmas Bureau. “Every year it seems to be between 2,700 and 3,000,” Cunningham said of the need. “If we think that’s not going to be enough, we’ll go buy some more.”

Many of the adults who receive the gloves are on fixed incomes, whether it is because they are senior citizens or disabled.

For years, St. Vincent has delivered the gloves before the Christmas Bureau opened and left them to Bureau volunteers to hand out. But this year, volunteers from the organization will be the ones staffing the table filled with thousands of pairs of gloves. “We’re going to have three volunteers a day out there,” he said.

Cunningham is scheduled for two of those shifts and he said he’s excited to be able to participate in the Christmas Bureau. “When we delivered the gloves, it’s just fun,” he said. “The energy is unbelievable.”

Two local churches are still collecting gloves through Sunday, with marked boxes placed near the entrance of each sanctuary; St. Thomas More at 515 W. St. Thomas More Way and Assumption Parish at 3624 W. Indian Trail Road.

Donations

New donations are coming in slowly with $2,153 arriving to bring the year-to-date total to $77,025.18. The goal this year is to raise $600,000 to pay for grocery store vouchers, toys and books for families in need at Christmas.

Christopher Goddard donated $1,050 via PayPal. Scott and Shannon Sevigny gave $500 via PayPal, writing “Merry Christmas!”

Robert and Deborah Glaza, of Spokane Valley, donated $400. Daniel Simonson gave $100 via PayPal.

Gary Van Assen donated $50 via PayPal “in memory of Tana Van Assen.” Dale and Nancy Avery sent $50 via PayPal, writing “May your holidays be filled with love and laughter.”

A $3 cash donation was dropped off at The Spokesman-Review.

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