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Christmas Bureau lifts people’s spirits

Christmas Bureau donations makes its coordinator Judy Lee more aware of the meaning of Christmas beyond the materialistic emphasis of the season.

As special events coordinator with Catholic Charities Spokane, she knows that many people struggle through the year.

“It hits home at Christmas when those who struggle know others are going shopping for their families.  It’s a painful time of year for some,” she said.  “So the Christmas Bureau lifts people’s spirits and gives them a bit of cheer and hope.”

Along with receiving a book for children under 14, a toy for teens and children under 17 and food vouchers of $15 for a single person and $30 for a family, families coming to the Christmas Bureau find a festive atmosphere with entertainment and caring assistance from more than 100 volunteers a day.

The Christmas Bureau is open from 10 a.m., to 2:30 p.m., every day from Dec. 12 to 21, except Sundays, at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, 404 N. Havana.  It’s open to anyone who feels need of assistance and brings photo ID, verification of address, and verification of children’s names, ages and addresses.

The 2012 Christmas Bureau is the 67th one.  It’s coordinated by Catholic Charities Spokane, Volunteers of America of the Inland Northwest and The Spokesman-Review, which runs articles each day to stir interest and donations.

In her third year as Christmas Bureau coordinator, Judy is impressed how individuals and businesses in Spokane come together to help bring holiday cheer to people who are struggling.

“It’s a time of year people need an extra hug,” said Judy, who is at the bureau every day it’s open.

“That makes me more aware that it’s not the material things that count at Christmas,” she said.  “My family is doing less in materialistic gifts and more for each other and the community.  Instead of shopping on Black Friday, I donate to the Christmas Bureau.”

For information, call 358-4254 or email

Copyright © December 2012 - The Fig Tree,