#happylife: There’s still time to shop the Christmas Bureau

The Christmas Bureau provides thousands of toys and books for families in need – and through Friday, December 20, families can visit them at the Spokane County Fairgrounds, located at 404 North Havana Street to shop for Christmas.

Parents or guardians must bring with them a photo ID and proof of their physical address such as a piece of mail or bill. For each child they shop for, they must provide the child’s name and date of birth (or age) as well as the child’s physical address. The address must match that of the shopper. Presenting a letter from the school, DSHS or daycare is acceptable. Note that social security cards are not accepted and birth certificates can only be used to verify a child’s date of birth. You can shop for kids 17 and under.

At times the line at Christmas Bureau can be long. Last year they assisted 30,000 individuals. Be sure to dress warm. While waiting on line, local performers can be heard singing Christmas carols and warm beverages and water are provided.

After processing paperwork, families are given a grocery-store voucher. For adults who are shopping for themselves, they then go to the glove distribution area. Parents shopping for kids are then ushered to the “bookstore” and pick out a book for children 14 and under. Then, it’s off to the toy room! This year, they have everything from drones to dress-up costumes, bikes and dolls. Volunteers are there to guide you every step of the way and after, help you pick up a stuffed animal!

The Christmas Bureau does have a childcare center for parents that bring their children with them.