Off The Press

September 29, 2009

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Kathleen R. Merril Press Editor

Kathleen R. Merril Press Editor

Capacity to give never ceases to amaze me

Tough times are happening all over, even here in Issaquah, where people are going hungry or trying hard not to.

Although I’m really feeling the pinch, too, I try to do what I can for others whenever I get the chance.

But I have to admit that when I heard about the latest local food drive. I thought, “Ouch. How much more can people do?”

Then, I gave it more thought and I tried to think of how I would feel if I was in the shoes of the people who need help. And then, I bought three extra items during my weekly grocery trip. Total extra spent: $5.Now, I know what you might say here: “I already do enough.” Or “I don’t have any left to spare.” Well, sometimes that’s true and sometimes, not so much.

I’m single with no other income than my job here. (Funny, whenever I ask my dog or cat for money, they can’t seem to find their wallets…)

Anyway, the simple point here is that it often takes only a tiny bit to make a big difference.

People really are hurting — losing cars, losing jobs, losing homes. Sure, I’m making less now than I was a year ago, but I still have my health (and good insurance, whew!), my job, my car (which is paid for) and a home (although I have to move at the end of the month, if you know of a two-bedroom home in the downtown area).

Chances are, you could spend an extra $5 the next time you go to the store, or even $2. And if everyone did that, think of the huge number of things we could collect for people who truly need them!

I’ve seen the people of Issaquah pull together for worthy causes before.

This summer, hundreds of people donated $1 (and in some cases, more) to the Issaquah School District Nurses Fund, to help needy schoolchildren in the district. By asking for just $1 from people, Camaro Firebird Club Northwest members raised more than $1,700 for local children.

And the local Kiwanis Club raised hundreds of dollars for school supplies for children in the district.

Several years ago, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a group of us held events and drives and collected thousands of dollars for people who had been flooded out of their homes, schools and workplaces.

Well, this time, the flood is at home.

So, come on, Issaquah, start “filling sandbags” by buying a few extra items when you next do your shopping. You may not see the smiles on the faces of the people you help, but you sure can imagine them and sympathize with people in need the next time you sit down at your own dinner table to a hot meal, no?

Kathleen R. Merrill: 392-6434, ext. 227, or Comment at

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