Every year, hundreds of volunteers and thousands of recipients convene at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center for the bureau, which provides assistance to those less fortunate during the holidays.
Other than some relatively minor medical emergencies – including women going into labor – there haven’t been any crises at the bureau, now in its 71st year.
“I feel blessed that we have not had any serious problems,” said Special Event Coordinator Judy Lee, with Catholic Charities Spokane.
Regardless, organizers provide training to volunteers on what to do in case of an emergency. And if anything does happen, they have a trusted security officer they know they can rely on.
Rashad Salah, 32, has worked the Christmas Bureau for several years. He says it’s one of his favorite jobs.