Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive is 45 percent under goal

December 25, 2012

By Warren Kagarise

The all-volunteer organization Issaquah Community Services provided more than $88,000 in assistance to local families last year, in the form of rent and utility assistance, or emergency aid.

But the nonprofit organization could provide less help in the future, because the Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive is 45 percent under the $75,000 goal for the year.

2012 goal: $75,000

To date: $41,907

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.

Now, as the fundraising drive nears completion, Issaquah Community Services still needs to raise $33,093 to meet the goal.

Only once before, in 2003, did Merry Christmas Issaquah fail to meet organizers’ annual goal.

The city provides office space and overhead, so 100 percent of donations go to people in need.

Holiday donations through Merry Christmas Issaquah enable the organization to help people in the coming year. Payments do not go directly to clients.

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 holiday fundraising drive accounts for about 65 percent of Issaquah Community Services’ annual budget. The organization faces increased demand for aid — so great the organization shut down for more than a week in June after exhausting funds for the month.

Merry Christmas Issaquah is Issaquah Community Services’ most important fundraiser all year. Other organizations pitch in during the annual Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive, but the vast majority of donations come from the community.

St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church hosted a Sing & Play Along Messiah! on Dec. 16 to raise more than $1,050 for Merry Christmas Issaquah.

The annual Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive serves as a reminder to community members about the need for social services in the area. Recipients said donations from the organization come at a critical time, after other options dry up and disappear.

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

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.

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