Two service organizations work to enhance Issaquah Community Hall

December 10, 2013

By Peter Clark

Two local service organizations have teamed up recently to double their offerings to Issaquah when Eastside Fire & Rescue’s Benevolent Fund helped the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank give the Issaquah Community Hall a facelift.

In what is hoped to be the beginning of a long relationship. Benevolent Fund President and EFR Battalion Chief David McDaniel said the nonprofit was delighted to assist with the painting of the center.

“I met Cori last year,” McDaniel said, speaking of Cori Kauk, director of the food bank. “She contacted me about painting the community hall and I said it sounded like a fantastic idea.”

The Benevolent Fund, created by EFR three years ago, wants to continue broadening the support it gives to the area through such projects.

“We wanted to form a nonprofit to give back to the community we protect,” McDaniel said. “Our union executive board had been talking about it for a number of years and I just said, ‘We have to do it.’”

Painting the community hall might seem like a relatively small accomplishment, but McDaniel said it could be an important step in giving back to Issaquah.

“We’re just kind of building up connections,” he said. “We’ll look at each project individually. I’d like to take it in the direction where we’re helping out needy people in the community.”

Kauk said she hopes the Issaquah Community Hall will add to local nonprofits in a big way. The hall, at 180 E. Sunset Way, is a partnership between the city, EFR and the food bank.

“The city built us an office and we’re going to use it as office space for a community service manager,” Kauk said. “In return, the food bank will provide the scheduling for all new users for the community hall.”

The partnership has only been cemented in the past year and Kauk said she wanted to enhance the area before launching programs in the community.

“We just felt like it was time for a facelift, so we started with a new coat of paint,” Kauk said. “So, we asked EFR to provide some help through their Benevolent Program.”

She still wants to add new tables and chairs, but thought it was a new beginning for local nonprofits to have a place to use.

“We’d like to provide a space where all of our nonprofits can utilize it,” she said. “We haven’t done a lot of outreach so far. We needed to provide some upgrades first.”

Kauk said food bank officials expect to host financial literacy programs, employment services and more at the hall.

After a weekend of painting, McDaniel said the partnership between the two service organizations would benefit the city.

“Cori’s got the connections with the people of Issaquah,” he said. “Those are the kind of opportunities we can use to give back to the community. They know the people who need help. The Benevolent Fund would be a connection between the community and other service groups.”


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