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Christmas Bureau

December 2020

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 acknowledging everyone who participates. The donated funds buy 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. 

Can I volunteer?
It takes hundreds of volunteers to make this effort a success. For more information about volunteer opportunities, contact 509.358.4250 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). To donate online see instructions below. Please mark prominently, CHRISTMAS FUND.  

Can I donate online?
Yes you can, at the Catholic Charities 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 Catholic Charities 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 for help?

  • Eligibility: There are no income restrictions to participate, but you must bring specific information to the Fairgrounds.
  • Bring: Photo ID for you and every person living with you who's 18 or older PLUS proof of current physical address for all adults. That means a power bill, rent receipt or phone bill showing a name at that address (No P.O. boxes). This is required for all adults. Social Security cards not valid as ID.
  • For children: Something from their school or daycare for each child living at that address, showing their name, address and birth date. OR A document from DSHS or other social service agency verifying name, address and date of birth OR A WIC folder.


Where is The Christmas Bureau?
The Bureau is held at The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center, at 404 N. Havana, in the Ag. Building.

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.

For more information, please contact:
Phone: 509.358.4254