Churches’ pie auction to benefit Compassion House

October 30, 2012

By Christina Corrales-Toy

It may be hard to imagine paying more than $400 for a pie, but at the Compassion House Benefit Pie Auction, it’s not so far-fetched.

At last year’s event, some pies sold for more than $450, with all of the money going toward Compassion House, a local nonprofit organization that provides transitional housing to families in need.

“You know when you have an auctioneer that is capable of selling some pies upwards of $450, that people have an open heart for giving,” said Rick McCarty, the executive director of Compassion House.

While the event is put together by several local churches, including Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship, Covenant Presbyterian Church, Issaquah Christian Church and Foothills Baptist Church, the auction and dinner are meant to attract the entire community, regardless of religious affiliation.

“The fact is, this is about helping our neighbors in need, and you can do that whether you go to church or not,” said Pastor Mark Miller, of Mountain Creek Christian Fellowship. “We all have a responsibility to help the folks on the margins.”

If you go

Compassion House Benefit Pie Auction

  • 5:30-9 p.m. Nov. 3
  • Covenant Presbyterian Church, 22116 S.E. 51st Place
  • Tickets: $10 per person
  • Call Rick McCarty to purchase tickets at 802-9235.

At this year’s event on Nov. 3 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, participants can enjoy a spaghetti dinner, the live pie auction and a silent auction that will include a wide range of items.

Tickets are $10 per person, which includes dinner. But if people are not interested in the dinner and just want to come for the pie auction at about 6:45 p.m., there will be standing room available and no admission charge.

The event raised about $15,000 last year, and the goal is to beat that this year.

Compassion House is a completely volunteer-based nonprofit, so all of the money goes directly toward helping families in need, said Miller, who is also founder of the organization.

“We realize that a lot of people get kind of jaundiced on agencies that say they are helping and then they go and look at the financial statements and see that only 10 cents of every dollar given gets to the actual need,” he said. “That’s not how we operate.”

The money goes to three families housed throughout Issaquah that have been in domestic violence situations and are ready to claim an independent life, Miller said.

“We are not a safe house, so we can’t help women who are actively in danger or seeking to hide out from a brutal spouse, but if they are past that, we help women who are trying to become independent again,” he said.

The group attempts to establish a new normal for the families, separate from the abuse they faced.

“What was normal for them was abuse and a lack of say over how their life went, and so the new normal is, ‘I can take charge of my life. I can be responsible for my children. I can stand on my own two feet,’” Miller said.

The auction will feature more than 40 pies baked and donated by members of the local churches, said Beth Miller, the resident team coordinator for Compassion House.

Last year’s most popular pie was a huckleberry pie, made with fresh-picked huckleberries from Idaho.

“The pie auction is really fun,” Beth Miller said. “People walk away having had a great evening, but they also walk away with a great pie.”

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