Christmas fund far from goal
December 29, 2008
The Tuesday before Christmas was “one of the saddest days in my seven years” helping clients who come to Issaquah Church & Community Services for emergency aid, said one of the longtime volunteers there.
“We’re not just helping homeless people here. We are helping people who didn’t plan on needing our help,” she said.
Like the ex-Microsoft employee who had already given up gas heat last summer in an effort to pare household expenses. Now, just as temperatures plummeted, she was in danger of having her electricity cut off, too.
“She was crying, saying ‘When I get on my feet, I’ll give back,’” the volunteer said.
Then, along came the woman who had not been able to get to work for a week due to the snow. Her children usually ate two meals a day at school, but school was canceled. It added up to bare cupboards, no money and Christmas was only two days away.
Thanks to the money donated each year to the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund drive, Church & Community Services was able to help. A payment to Puget Sound Energy and a grocery store voucher were lifelines for these women who were doing their best just to get through the day.
“With unemployment rates so high, we expect to see more Issaquah families in need of help than ever before,” said Pat Stegner, Church & Community Services president.
Merry Christmas Issaquah was still only about 55 percent to its goal of $50,000 as of Dec. 29. The fund will stay open for a couple more weeks in hopes of another $20,000 arriving.
You can help by making a tax-deductible donation. (Issaquah Church & Community Services is a registered 5013c nonprofit.) Names of donors (but not amounts) will be published in The Press unless anonymity is requested.
Send contributions to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Checks can also be dropped at The Press office, 45 Front St. S.