Christmas fund provides hope, smiles

December 28, 2010

By Staff

$21,000 needed to reach 2010 goal

Issaquah Community Services opens its office one hour a week to meet with people in financial crisis. It’s not typically a happy place, but lately it’s had its moments of hope and joy.

Over the past couple of months, at least three former clients who had previously received help with rent or utilities or maybe a car repair have stopped in to thank the Issaquah Community Services volunteers and share their good news — they got a new job! Two reported high-tech jobs, while another is now a full-time nanny. The smiles said it all — their life was looking brighter and more secure.

The funds the Issaquah residents received were primarily from Merry Christmas Issaquah, the fund that helps neighbors help themselves. Hearing from former clients is what keeps volunteers coming back to help the next family in need.

December has been busy, say the volunteers. The Issaquah Community Services bank account was nearly depleted as families dealt with higher utility bills and the extra expenses of winter.

But donations to the 2010 Merry Christmas Issaquah fund drive will assure help will be there next month for people facing eviction or power shut-offs, unexpected medical bills or bus fare.

The Christmas fund needs at least $60,000 to meet the needs of 2011, but as of Dec. 27 it was only two-thirds of the way to its goal with $39,086 received from 165 donors.

Most donors write checks; others drop off cash donations. Some come from organizations, while others come as a collection of checks from holiday parties. Some checks are for $1,000 or much more, while others are small but just as important.

The fund will remain open for a few more weeks in hopes of reaching the $60,000 goal. About 65 percent of Issaquah Community Services’ annual budget comes from the holiday fund.

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