Christmas Bureau—Dec 2015

Each year since 1945, the Christmas Bureau has offered help and hope to thousands of needy families. Beginning after Thanksgiving, the Spokesman-Review accepts donations and publishes articles listing everyone who participates. The money buys thousands of high-quality toys and books for needy families.

Then, for two weeks in December, two local nonprofit social service agencies— Volunteers of America and Catholic Charities—gather, train and coordinate more than 500 volunteers who help make the bureau run smoothly.

Needy families can come to the bureau, held at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center (404 N. Havana) to pick out a toy and a book for each of their children for Christmas Day. In addition, each household receives a grocery-store voucher to stock the cupboards for the holidays.

The result is an opportunity for people in the greater Inland Northwest community to take care of their less-fortunate neighbors. It’s a vast undertaking, and one that hopes to make the holiday a bit brighter for those in need.

Frequently Asked Questions:


  • Can I volunteer?
    It takes hundreds of volunteers to make this effort a success. For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact Brigid Krause at 509.358.4270 or
  • How do I donate?
    Donations may be sent to The Spokesman-Review Christmas Fund, P.O. Box 516, Spokane, WA 99210; delivered to the lobbies of Spokesman-Review offices in downtown Spokane (999 W Riverside Ave), Spokane Valley (13208 E Sprague Ave) or Coeur d’Alene (608 Northwest Blvd., Suite 200).
  • Can I donate online?
    Yes you can, at the Spokemsan-Review website. Just click on the PayPal button, and you'll be able to choose an amount to donate via credit card. If you choose this method of payment, a small percentage goes to PayPal for Internet billing services. When you send in a check to The Christmas Fund, as described above, none of the donation goes to processing.

    If you'd like the Spokesman-Review to send you a receipt for your donation, make sure to include your mailing address in PayPal's comment box. If you'd like a receipt via e-mail, just include a valid e-mail address. In either case, they won't share your information with anyone or use it for any other reason. And feel free to use the comment box to tell us anything you'd like.


  • How do I qualify?
    There are no income specifications for Bureau recipients. Anyone who thinks they need the help can come to Bureau. To help the Bureau minimize duplication or fraud, all recipients MUST bring current proof of identity (photo ID or driver's license), proof of residence (current utility bill, telephone bill or rent receipt) and proof of dependents in residence (signed, dated letter from school/daycare or social service agency indicating number of dependents in the household as well as their names, dates of birth and where they live. Letters from DSHS or WIC folders are also accepted). Please note, a Social Security card is NOT an acceptable proof of identification.
  • Where is The Christmas Bureau?
    The Bureau will be held at The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, at 404 N. Havana, in the Ag Building.
  • When is it open?
    The Christmas Bureau will be held from mid-December until a few days before Christmas (excluding Sundays) from 10am to 2:30pm daily (stay tuned for exact 2015 dates).
  • Which bus routes go to the Bureau?
    Spokane Transit Authority bus routes 90, 94 and 33 all stop at The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.