Lots of moving parts have to fit together to keep the Christmas office buzzing so smoothly.
Some are the companies that provide help behind the scenes, whether through discounted services or thousands of bags for parents to pack their books in.
When it comes to furnishings, Jim Custer Enterprises and Lilac City Exposition Services drape the curtains and set out the tables before the office opens. Hoffman’s Music Co. is providing the entertainers with a sound system, and AZ Rentals gave the entertainers a stage discount.
Several groups ran pajama drives this year, including Providence Health Care, St. Mary’s Catholic School, St. John Vianney Catholic School and residents of Fairwood Retirement Village. Several woodcarvers made little trucks that were given to children, and numerous knitters and crocheters spent the year sewing hats and scarves for childless adults who visit the office. St. Vincent de Paul conducted a glove ride 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 office each year.
Many toys today require batteries to function and all batteries have been provided by Batteries and Bulbs. Amerigroup provided reusable shopping bags for books. Both Yoke’s Fresh Market and Super 1 Foods made shopping carts available to customers. Costco provided flatbed carts so the volunteers could move large amounts of toys. Bunzl donated large bags so customers could take their toys home. Earthworks Recycling offers cardboard recycling services.
Toys left over or arriving later in the year must be stored. DeVries Moving-Packing-Storage offers storage at a discounted rate and also assists in transporting the toys to the Spokane County Fair & Expo Center. ABC Mini Storage offers discounted storage fees for Christmas Office supplies and equipment. Penske Truck Rental offers panel trucks for transporting toys and supplies during set-up and tear-down.
Gift cards donated by Safeway/Albertson for the volunteers. Arby’s Restaurant on East Sprague Avenue provided lunch for the volunteers each day the Christmas office was open. Mamma Mia’s Italian restaurant offered volunteers a discounted lunch during set-up.
Donations continue to pile up 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 through PayPal. An anonymous Spokane donor donated $1,000 and wrote, “Thank you for all you do to help those in need.” Lonna and Tom Power sent $1,000 via PayPal.
Richard and Lola Lile of Spokane sent $500 and wrote, “Thank you for your tireless efforts to help the people of Spokane. This donation is in honor of Robert and Ellen Houk and Dorothy Powers.” Donald McCabe gave $500 through PayPal, as did Shirley Sample.
The Brooke family donated $420 in memory of Jeannette and Philip Brooke. Lorna Bogarosh from Spokane contributed $400. Elaine Vandervert of Chattaroy donated $365. An anonymous donor from the Spokane Valley sent $350.
Thomas and Virginia Burns donated $300 and wrote, “Thank you for all 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 to our parents, Bo and Mary Henry and Robert and Marian Heglar”.
Sandy Fruetel of Mead donated $300 “in memory of my husband Al, my sister Debbie and my 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 for The Spokesman-Review/Chronicle for many years Christmas was a precious time for him to celebrate with his family.”
The Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local No. 82 from Spokane donated $250. George and Joyce Schroeder of Spokane donated $250. “So grateful for all the volunteers helping those in need this Christmas,” they wrote. An anonymous donor sent $250 through 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 from Spokane donated $200. Dale Soden donated $200 through PayPal, as did Janice House. Randy and Mary Huggins donated $200 through PayPal “in loving memory of our parents, Charles and Virginia Huggins, and James and Audrey Pfitzner. Thank you to the Christmas Office and all of its volunteers who helped make Christmas brighter for everyone. Happy Holidays.”
Evelyn Kirkevold of Spokane sent $150. Tiffany Pettey sent $132.65 via PayPal. Greenacres’ Donna and Nick Zolecki donated $125.
Garnet Dana from Spokane Valley contributed $103 and wrote, “Hooray! This year it’s $103. Over the years I’ve added $1 to the Christmas fund as I’ve gotten older. I am now 103 years. Thanks to all you dear people (volunteers) who make it possible. Happy Holidays.”
Tom and Ruth Conklin of Spokane Valley donated $100 and wrote, “Thank you for all you do to help those in need.” Minni Samek of Spokane gave $100. “Here is another year of helping and giving thanks to all those in need,” she wrote. “To our family and friends, son and husband and also the three nephews this summer and friends. I also want to thank my grandchildren and my family for their help, I couldn’t do it without them.”
Denise and Steve Myklebust sent $100. Spokane resident Thomas Bryan donated $100 and wrote, “You guys are doing 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 donated $100.
Allan Bonney from 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 grandchildren.” Heidi and Harold Clarke of Spokane donated $100, as did Charles and Rose Carver of Medical Lake.
Gale and Dianna Morasch of Spokane donated $100 and wrote, “Thank you for all the work you do to bring a happier holiday to so many.” Judy Colenso of Spokane Valley sent $100. Heidi and Dave Meany donated $100 via PayPal “in honor of all the hardworking volunteers who make the Christmas Office such a success every year!”
Craig Blankenstein donated $100 through 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 through PayPal. Steve and Shannon Pollo of Lansing, Michigan donated $50 through PayPal “to honor our friend, bowling partner and reader Peggy Belcher and her family. Peg died last summer.”
Lisa Gardner contributed $40 through PayPal. Jeffrey Horlen gave $25 through PayPal. Cherie Foss sent $25 via PayPal “in memory of my father, George L. Poston Jr.”
William and Trudy Olson of Spokane donated $23.45 and wrote, “Make happiness happen.”
https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2022/dec/21/businesses-also-jump-in-to-help-make-the-christmas/ Businesses are also stepping in to make the Christmas office a reality