Many moving pieces have to come together to make the Christmas Bureau hum along so smoothly.
Some are the businesses that give assistance behind the scenes, whether by providing discounted services or thousands of bags for parents to put their books in.
When it comes to setting up, Jim Custer Enterprises and Lilac City Exposition Services hang the drapes and put up the tables before the bureau opens. Hoffman’s Music Co. provides a sound system for the entertainers, and A-Z Rentals provided a discount on the stage for entertainers.
Several groups did pajama drives this year, including Providence Health Care, St. Mary’s Catholic School, St. John Vianney Catholic School and the residents of the Fairwood Retirement Village. Several wood carvers made small trucks to be handed out to children, and numerous knitters and crocheters spent the year hand-making hats and scarves for childless adults who visit the bureau. St. Vincent de Paul did a glove drive and also distributed the gloves to childless adults.
The Spokane Chiefs hold a Teddy Bear Toss game each year to collect thousands of stuffed animals for children. This year’s Teddy Bear Toss was sponsored by TDS Fiber. Central Valley High School also collects stuffed animals for the bureau each year.
Many toys these days require batteries to operate, and all batteries were provided by Batteries and Bulbs. Amerigroup provided reusable shopping bags for books. Both Yoke’s Fresh Market and Super 1 Foods provided shopping carts for clients to use. Costco provided flatbed carts so volunteers could move large volumes of toys around. Bunzl donated large bags for clients to take their toys home. Earthworks Recycling provides cardboard recycling services.
Toys that are left over or arrive during the year must be stored. DeVries Moving-Packing-Storage provides storage at a discount and also helps haul the toys to the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. ABC Mini Storage provides discounted storage rates for the Christmas Bureau supplies and equipment. Penske Truck Rental provides box trucks to haul toys and supplies during setup and teardown.
Safeway/Albertson’s donated gift cards for the volunteers. Arby’s Restaurant on East Sprague Avenue provided lunch for the volunteers every day the Christmas Bureau was open. Mamma Mia’s Italian Restaurant provided a discounted lunch for the volunteers during setup.
Donations continue to accumulate as Christmas approaches, with $13,909.10 in new donations bringing the year-to-date total to $377,221.18.
Mark Schultz donated $2,500 via PayPal. An anonymous Spokane donor gave $1,000, writing, “Thank you for all you do for those in need.” Lonna and Tom Power sent $1,000 via PayPal.
Richard and Lola Lile, of Spokane, sent $500, writing, “Thank you for your tireless efforts to help the citizens of Spokane. This donation is in honor of Robert and Ellen Houk and Dorothy Powers.” Donald McCabe gave $500 via PayPal, as did Shirley Sample.
The Brooke Family donated $420 in memory of Jeannette and Philip Brooke. Lorna Bogarosh, of Spokane, contributed $400. Elaine Vandervert, of Chattaroy, donated $365. An anonymous Spokane Valley donor sent $350.
Thomas and Virginia Burns gave $300, writing, “Many thanks for all that you do each year to make Christmas a little brighter for so many in Spokane.” William and Nancy Henry, of Spokane, sent $300 “in memory of our parents, Bo and Mary Henry and Robert and Marian Heglar.”
Sandy Fruetel, of Mead, gave $300 “in remembrance of my husband Al, sister Debbie and close friend Swede. Thank you for all you do.” Linda Solan sent $300 via PayPal, as did Heather Brennan. Connie Morlin donated $300 via PayPal “in loving memory of Bill Morlin, who was a reporter at The Spokesman-Review/Chronicle for many years. Christmas was a treasured time for him to celebrate with his family.”
The Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local No. 82, of Spokane, donated $250. George and Joyce Schroeder, of Spokane, gave $250. “So appreciative of all the volunteers who help those in need for Christmas,” they wrote. An anonymous donor sent $250 via PayPal, as did Dana McPhee. The Hauck family donated $250 via PayPal “in honor of Bill and Betty Hennessey’s 75th wedding anniversary.”
Phyllis and Jack Worden, of Spokane, donated $200. Dale Soden donated $200 via PayPal, as did Janice House. Randy and Mary Huggins gave $200 via PayPal “in loving memory of our parents, Charles and Virginia Huggins and James and Audrey Pfitzner. Thank you to the Christmas Bureau and all of its volunteers for helping to make Christmas brighter for all. Happy holidays.”
Evelyn Kirkevold, of Spokane, sent $150. Tiffany Pettey sent $132.65 via PayPal. Donna and Nick Zolecki, of Greenacres, gave $125.
Garnet Dana, of Spokane Valley, contributed $103, writing, “Hurrah! This year it’s $103. Through the years I’ve added $1 to the Christmas Fund as I age. I’m now 103 years. Thanks to all you dear people (volunteers) that make it possible. Have a happy holiday.”
Tom and Ruth Conklin, of Spokane Valley, donated $100, writing, “Thank you for all you do to help people in need.” Minni Samek, of Spokane, gave $100. “Here’s another year to help and give thanks to all in need,” she wrote. “To our family and friends, son and husband and also the three nephs this summer and friends. Also want to thank my grandsons and family for their help, I couldn’t do it without them.”
Denise and Steve Myklebust sent $100. Thomas Bryan, of Spokane, gave $100, writing, “You do a great job! Thank you.” Wilma Mahoney, of Spokane, donated $100 “in memory of three good friends, Tom Mahoney, Ken Trent and Jack Bradley.” Denni Fredrickson, of Spokane, contributed $100.
Allan Bonney, of Spokane, gave $100. Linda Kershner, of Spokane, sent $100 “in memory of my husband, Lee Kershner, who enjoyed contributing to the Christmas fund in honor of our grandkids.” Heidi and Harold Clarke, of Spokane, donated $100, as did Charles and Rose Carver of Medical Lake.
Gale and Dianna Morasch, of Spokane, contributed $100, writing, “Thank you for all the work you do to make a brighter holiday for so many.” Judy Colenso, of Spokane Valley, sent $100. Heidi and Dave Meany donated $100 via PayPal “in honor of all the hard-working volunteers that make the Christmas Bureau such a success each year!”
Craig Blankenstein contributed $100 via PayPal, as did Robert Dziekan.
Arlyss Nelson, of Liberty Lake, sent $50, as did Colleen Warner of Spokane. Kay Anderson, of Spokane, contributed $50. Michael Bonderenko, of Coulee City, Washington, donated $50, as did Barbara and Gregg Pryde of Spokane.
Cheryl Stolp sent $50 via PayPal in memory of Jacqueline Moots. Donna Fleming gave $50 via PayPal. Steve and Shannon Pollo, of Lansing, Michigan, gave $50 via PayPal “to honor our friend, bowling partner and reader, Peggy Belcher, and her family. Peg passed away last summer.”
Lisa Gardner contributed $40 via PayPal. Jeffrey Horlen gave $25 via PayPal. Cherie Foss sent $25 via PayPal “in memory of my dad, George L. Poston Jr.”
William and Trudy Olson, of Spokane, gave $23.45, writing, “Make happiness happen.”