Merry Christmas Issaquah helps during hardships all year

December 18, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

Sudden hardships can expose people reeling from the effects of the fragile economy to even more risk — financial trouble, utility shutdowns and, in extreme cases, homelessness.

Issaquah Community Services is often able to help people from avoiding further difficulties. The organization offers rent assistance if eviction is imminent, help with utility bills if a provider is threatening shutoff, or emergency transportation.

2012 goal: $75,000

To date: $32,047

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.

On the Web

Miller Family Dermatology, 450 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 301A, is donating $1 for each Facebook like it receives to Merry Christmas Issaquah through December. Like Miller Family Dermatology at www.facebook.com/MillerFamilyDerm.

Merry Christmas Issaquah is Issaquah Community Services’ most important fundraiser all year. The goal for 2012 is $75,000.

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

The city provides office space and overhead for Issaquah Community Services, so 100 percent of donations go to people in need. Payments do not go directly to the client.

Merry Christmas Issaquah — spearheaded by The Issaquah Press since 1981 — set a donation record last year, but the $77,362 raised could barely meet demand. The number of donors last year, 231, also set a record.

Issaquah Community Services faced increased demand for aid — so great the organization shut down for more than a week in June after exhausting funds for the month.

The organization reopened to clients in July, but demand remains high, and leaders asked the public to consider donations in order for Issaquah Community Services to continue providing aid.

The holiday fundraising drive accounts for about 65 percent of Issaquah Community Services’ annual budget.

Recipients said donations from the organization come at a critical time, after other options dry up and disappear.

The fund has received more than $785,000 in donations since the 1981 launch.

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