It’s Christmastime in Eastern Washington! Christmas Bureau opened yesterday, and at Catholic Charities, Christmas Bureau is the unofficial start of the Christmas season, when Black Friday–style lines wind around the County Fairgrounds and volunteers scurry around like elves.
Frankly, it makes us smile, just like Buddy the Elf. Smiling is our favorite, too.
It makes us smile because Christmas Bureau accentuates all of the best things about Catholic Charities. We work best in collaboration with partners, and we reach more than 26,000 families by working together with the Spokesman-Review and Volunteers of America. We solve community problems by working with our whole community, and through Christmas Bureau we work with 500 volunteers from parishes, the community, local nonprofits and business partners. We’re blessed to share this work with so many hands.
Most of all, Christmas Bureau highlights the hope that we all have for the season.
Many of us remember ripping off a long strip of wrapping paper and finding the long-dreamed-of toy underneath. Possessed by the Christmas spirit, we feverishly unwrapped the rest of the box, unceremoniously depositing the wad of paper on the living room floor at our parents’ feet, and gazing at the unopened toy. In that moment, our imaginations thrilled in anticipation of hours spent exploring worlds, sometimes on our own, sometimes with friends, opened up to us through this token of love from our parents.
Such moments are a great equalizer. We live in an imperfect world where some children will receive more gifts than others, and where all children are expected to earn their success, but some start with grave disadvantages. A Christmas gift will not fix what is broken in our world. It will not be the food on the table tomorrow or the good school district or the safe neighborhood. What a Christmas gift offers is a moment of inspiration shared by every child, regardless of circumstance, that helps them imagine a world different from what they have now.
Because of Christmas Bureau, there will be at least one moment on Christmas morning when the hearts of all children in Eastern Washington will be filled with the hope and the joy the season promises.
For more information on Christmas Bureau, including the documentation requirements every family must bring, check out our Christmas Bureau webpage.