December 21, 2010
The Christmas spirit means helping others
Christmas giving will reach its heights over the next few days, but year-end charitable giving still has another 10 days to go. Most donors have their priorities, choosing donations that match their own passions, and usually including a few checks for human services.
Issaquah has a bevy of great agencies to donate to, but Issaquah Community Services stands out for the emergency financial relief it provides for area families fighting to keep the heat on and the rent paid while they seek new jobs or seek other resources of help.But we like Issaquah Community Services for another reason. One hundred percent of donations go directly to resident assistance. The city of Issaquah supplies operational funds, a telephone line and office space for the one hour a day Issaquah Community Services is open to meet with clients. There is no paid staff, only dedicated volunteers — some who have served for more than a decade.
Many readers may not recognize Issaquah Community Services as a local human service agency, but may indeed know of Merry Christmas Issaquah, the only fundraiser held each year to replenish the Issaquah Community Services bank account. For 30 years, The Issaquah Press has provided all of the publicity for the fund drive at no cost to the charity.
Other donations and grants throughout the year augment the fund, but Merry Christmas Issaquah accounts for nearly two-thirds of Issaquah Community Services’ annual budget.
The donations have been coming in strong so far this year. But “strong” means it is past the half-way mark to the $60,000 goal. Nearly $30,000 more is needed in the next two weeks if Issaquah Community Services volunteers are going to be able to continue their charitable work, making a small but vital difference to families living on the edge.
When the money is gone, all Issaquah Community Services volunteers can do is make referrals to other agencies — and many of those other agencies have had severe budget cuts.
If you are looking for a way to help your neighbors in need, consider a donation to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027.
It takes a village to look out for one another.