Jumping off the deep end: Julie Tveit is among 90 new volunteers this year at the Christmas Bureau

<p><p>Retired pediatric nurse practitioner Julie Tveit had been looking for additional volunteer opportunities since her retirement in July when she spotted a story in The Spokesman-Review last month <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2021/oct/29/christmas-bureau-seeks-more-volunteers-to-help-dis” target=”_blank”>about the need for volunteers at the Christmas Bureau</a>. She immediately put in her application and signed up for as many shifts as she could get.</p></p><p><p>The Christmas Bureau is a collaboration between Catholic Charities, the Volunteers of America and The Spokesman-Review that provides food vouchers to families in need at Christmas along with a toy and book for each child. That appealed to Tveit. “I’m very much a child person,” she said.</p></p><p><p>Tveit said she’s often seen the stories in the newspaper asking for donations to fund the annual effort and has donated a few times. She was also inspired to volunteer by her parents, Dan and Peggy Jeremiah, who were Christmas Bureau volunteers themselves more than a decade ago.</p></p><p><p>“They had some stories about people,” she said. “It seemed like a fun thing to do.”</p></p><p><p>Tveit is one of about 90 new volunteers to sign up this year, more than double the 40 or so new volunteers who sign up in a typical year. That’s in part because changes in how the Bureau operates requires more volunteers to make everything run smoothly.</p></p><p><p>But Tveit didn’t just sign up for a shift or two. She asked to be put on the schedule for every day of the 11 days the Bureau is open.</p></p><p><p>“I think if I’m going to volunteer, I should jump off the deep end,” she said. “I’m looking forward to getting up, getting dressed and going somewhere. I really miss that about going to work.”</p></p><p><p>Most recently, Tveit worked at the Providence Medical Park in Spokane Valley. She worked for Providence for 24 years, and in the 10 years before that she worked as a pediatric nurse at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center. She said she enjoys working with children and is looking forward to her shifts as a toy expert at the Bureau.</p></p><p><p>“I know children and I know developmental levels, so I’m excited about that,” she said.</p></p><p><p>She’s also scheduled for a few shifts doing intake work, checking people in and processing applications. It’s the same job her mother did when she volunteered at the Bureau.</p></p><p><p>Tveit said her mother has been giving her tips, including not bringing her purse and leaving her book at home because she won’t have time to crack open a page.</p></p><p><p>Tveit said she’s not worried about volunteering during a pandemic. All volunteers and recipients are required to wear a mask and be vaccinated. Tveit said she’s used to wearing a mask all day and got her vaccine long ago.</p></p><p><p>“I’m not worried at all,” she said. “I think getting out and volunteering is more important than a pandemic.”</p></p>