Merry Christmas Issaquah needs help to reach goal

December 27, 2011

By Warren Kagarise

The team at Issaquah Community Services — 22 trained volunteers — opens the nonprofit organization’s office each week to offer a hand to people in need, but the volunteers might not be able to serve as many people next year if more donations do not arrive soon.

Issaquah Community Services is the all-volunteer nonprofit organization responsible for dispersing donations to families living inside Issaquah School District boundaries.

Merry Christmas Issaquah is the organization’s most important fundraiser of the year. But the fund is more than $20,000 shy of its goal for the year, and organizers need the dollars to offer rent assistance if eviction is imminent, help with utility bills if the provider is threatening shutoff or emergency transportation.

The need, measured in the number of families helped, continues to expand. The organization helped 503 families from October 2010 to October 2011.

The goal for the 2011 fundraising drive is $65,000. But as the fundraising drive nears completion, Issaquah Community Services still needs to raise $20,529 to meet the goal. The city provides office space and overhead, so 100 percent of donations go to people in need.

Merry Christmas Issaquah

2011 goal: $65,000

To date: $44,471

How to help

Help by making a tax-deductible donation to Issaquah Community Services. The organization is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Send donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. The names of donors — but not amounts — are published in The Press unless anonymity is requested.

Holiday donations through Merry Christmas Issaquah enable the organization to help people in the coming year.

The organization offers a place to turn for local families in need of some extra help. Most clients need assistance to pay rent or a utility bill.

“The idea that people have to go knocking on doors and making phone calls and go to work, take care of their families and do all of this stuff” is a challenge, Issaquah Community Services President Marilyn Taylor said.

So, Issaquah Community Services volunteers donate time and effort to reach out to local families each week.

Other organizations also pitch in during the annual Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive. St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, for instance, hosted a Community Messiah Sing-Along on Dec. 18 to raise more than $1,300 for Merry Christmas Issaquah.

The annual fundraising drive serves as a reminder to community members about the need for social services in the Issaquah area.

“It’s all about the community and the hearts of the people,” Taylor said.

Merry Christmas Issaquah has received more than $700,000 in donations since starting in 1981. The holiday fundraising drive accounts for about 65 percent of Issaquah Community Services’ annual budget. Merry Christmas Issaquah set a record last year as 215 donors contributed $66,297.

“We could be switching positions with the people in need,” Taylor said. “There’s just so much need.”

Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or Comment at

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One Response to “Merry Christmas Issaquah needs help to reach goal”

  1. Mark morin on December 28th, 2011 4:51 am

    Rotate a small table at Safeway, Target, Starbucks, Fred Meyer and you will make the goal each year…have to get the word out…people rally around their neighbors here.

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