January 7, 2014
Merry Christmas Issaquah fund that supports emergency financial assistance for Issaquah families has set a new record in total donations.
Nearly $86,000 has been donated in the past five weeks by 257 donors. That represents a 25 percent increase over last year’s $68,683 from 244 donors. The goal was $75,000.
The fund has been spearheaded by The Issaquah Press since 1981 to support the work of the nonprofit Issaquah Community Services.
December 31, 2013
After a week in which a flurry of donations came in to support Issaquah Community Services, the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund is less than $2,000 away from its $75,000 goal.
Issaquah Community Services offers emergency financial aid to residents of the Issaquah School District in the form of utility payments, rent assistance and other miscellaneous contributions, depending on a client’s specific need.
Volunteers at the nonprofit organization see families at their most dire hour of need. These are people that could lose their home or go without electricity if Issaquah Community Services didn’t step in with the next payment.
December 24, 2013
They see the anguish, the struggle and the heartbreak that comes when clients cannot make ends meet.
As hard as it is to watch that, though, they also get to see the euphoria when a volunteer says, “Yes, I can help you,” making everything worthwhile.
“It’s unbelievably rewarding, it really is. It’s just a very rich experience, I think, for all of our volunteers,” said Jane, an Issaquah Community Services volunteer whose last name is not being printed due to the required anonymity between volunteers and clients.
December 17, 2013
New Issaquah resident Michelle Whitehead’s entire life was tucked away in a Milton storage unit.
It’s where the single mom of two children kept her assets after she lost her job and her Pierce County residence.
“I had my personal belongings there and furniture. The entire house was in there,” she said.
December 17, 2013
Christmas fund keeps giving all year long
Not all Christmas wish lists are created equal.
A single mom just wants to be sure we don’t have another cold spell this winter or the electric bill won’t get paid. An elderly man living on Social Security could sure use a new pair of reading glasses. A young couple with new jobs is doing well with loan payments — but now the car needs repairs to get them to their jobs. One of four kids in a family has medical problems that have overwhelmed the family budget and an eviction notice is in the mail.
December 10, 2013
As a cold freeze covers the Pacific Northwest this holiday season, consider that the only source of heat for Marty Wright’s Issaquah-area home is a wood-pellet stove.
The stove is only effective, though, when it has the pellets, something the 26-year-old veteran could not afford.
Issaquah Community Services gave Wright the benefit of heat by funding the delivery of more than $200 worth of pellets, courtesy of The Grange Supply.
“It meant a great deal,” Wright said. “It kept me from freezing and actually allowed me to move around my house, because I do have fractured bones so when it does get cold in here I can’t really move around.”
December 10, 2013
Musicians will gather for the fifth annual “Sing & Play Along Messiah” Dec. 15 at St. Michaels & All Angels Episcopal Church.
Any instrumentalists, vocalists or spectators can participate in the nonrehearsed event, under the direction of Jason Anderson, associate for liturgical arts at the church.
The event raises funds for the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund.
“We invite instrumentalists and singers to join us for part one of the ‘Messiah,’ which is considered the Christmas portion,” Anderson said.
December 3, 2013
The people that turn to Issaquah Community Services for assistance are often in dire need.
These are families that could lose their home if the nonprofit didn’t step in with the next payment; these are people who would live without electricity if Issaquah Community Services didn’t exist.
Just ask Maria, an Issaquah resident who recently received a helping hand from the organization that provides emergency financial aid to residents of the Issaquah School District in the form of utility payments, rent assistance and other miscellaneous contributions. (Maria’s last name isn’t being used for her safety.)
“The people that are going to ICS, they really, really need help,” she said.
November 26, 2013
When popular Bellevue eatery Lil’ Jon restaurant went up in flames June 13, it was a heartbreaking blow for regulars that frequented the spot, known for its breakfasts.
It was even worse for Issaquah resident and Lil’ Jon server Marita Davidson, who temporarily lost her job, as the restaurant underwent a major rehabilitation.
“It’s been there so long and nothing tragic has ever happened there before, so we were all in shock and devastated by that,” she said. “It was hard to regroup after that with the loss of income.”
November 19, 2013
In 2008, former Issaquah resident Ellen Loney had arguably the worst month of her life.
In the span of just 30 days, Loney lost her job and her mother. She would have lost the roof over her head, too, if it weren’t for the generosity of a local nonprofit organization.
“It was a very bad month, a very bad time, and Issaquah Community Services saved the day,” Loney said in a phone interview from her new home in Lynnwood.