December 22, 2009
Keep the giving spirit alive and well
The Merry Christmas Issaquah emergency aid fund has passed the halfway mark to its 2009 goal of $50,000. But even $50,000 might not be enough. This year, the number of people needing help rose 50 percent — to nearly 500. But, then, these are not ordinary times.Each year, the volunteers at Issaquah Church and Community Services wonder what they will do, how many people they will turn away, if donations to the Christmas fund don’t arrive as hoped. About 90 percent of the year’s emergency aid budget comes from people and businesses in the community who choose to help their Issaquah neighbors when times are tough.
The giving spirit in Issaquah is alive and well! Only once since the emergency aid fund was started in 1981 has it not reached its goal. Last year, the goal was the same $50,000 as hoped for this year, but a wondrous $57,000 arrived.
In spite of the robust generosity of the donors last year, the increase in requests meant less help for each family. Let’s face it, when the electricity is about to be shut off in the middle of winter, or the rent is overdue and eviction is on the horizon, a couple of hundred dollars paid to the landlord or power company doesn’t seem like a lot. Yet each person or family in need finds relief, gratitude and peace of mind and heart for the little help they get.
ICCS has few operational expenses, and they are covered by the city of Issaquah. The Issaquah Press provides all of the publicity at no cost. That leaves every dollar donated going directly to emergency aid. Knowing 100 percent of a donation will be put to good use is a prime determining factor for donors as they choose where to send a year-end check.
Keep the giving spirit of the season alive. To help, send a check to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027, or drop one off at 45 Front St. S.