Merry Christmas Issaquah fundraising drive is 45 percent under goal

December 25, 2012

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.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah helps during hardships all year

December 18, 2012

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.

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December 18, 2012

Make Christmas about giving to those in need

The excitement of Christmas is here … the reindeer at Cougar Mountain Zoo are being harnessed to guide Santa’s sleigh, the last-minute stocking stuffers and eggnog have been bought, the silver has been polished for the dinner table, and the church choir is ready for the candlelight service.

But here and there — in apartments, homes and homeless campsites — if you look closely, you’ll see some families with furrowed brows.

Forget Christmas. This single mom, widowed senior and unemployed dad are too busy worrying about next month’s rent. A decorated tree, presents tied with bows and a festive dinner are not going to happen.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah strengthens community ties

December 11, 2012

Since the economy entered a nosedive in 2008, and throughout the fragile recovery since, volunteers at Issaquah Community Services keep hearing a familiar story.

The breadwinner for a household, laid off during the recession, needs help to make ends meet. The volunteers listen and, in many cases, offer assistance to pay the rent or to keep the electricity on.

Milicent Savage, Issaquah Community Services president, remembers the stories from two men recently at the organization’s office.

The men, both fathers and husbands, needed assistance to cover rent expenses for the month. Savage recalled how one man — a former Microsoft employee now working as a custodian — broke down.

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Hallelujah! Sing & Play Along Messiah! returns

December 11, 2012

Christmas revelers can create a joyful noise and benefit Issaquah Community Services as St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church hosts Sing & Play Along Messiah! — a concert to aid people in need throughout the community.

Proceeds from the event go to Issaquah Community Services’ Merry Christmas Issaquah fund.

“The real intent behind ‘Messiah’ was and still is to benefit the needs of the local community,” said Jason Anderson, associate for liturgical arts and youth formation at the downtown Issaquah church.

George Frideric Handel composed “Messiah” in 1741 to illustrate scenes from the life of Jesus Christ. “Messiah” ranks among the best-known musical works from the Baroque period, and the piece is especially popular around Christmas

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Volunteers inspire Merry Christmas Issaquah success

December 4, 2012

The nonprofit organization Issaquah Community Services encounters clients in times of need.

Sometimes, a landlord is threatening eviction, or a utility is about to turn off electricity. In some cases, assistance is needed to fund unexpected medical or repair expenses.

Milicent Savage, Issaquah Community Services president, said the organization’s volunteers fill a critical role. The organization relies on a trained team to assist people in need — especially if the person requesting assistance is embarrassed or reluctant.

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Merry Christmas Issaquah helps families in need

November 27, 2012

Soon after a pipe burst, a deluge of generosity descended on Judith Tetzlaff’s home.

In early November, a pipe burst in the bathroom at the Tiger Mountain mobile home Tetzlaff and her sister share. The estimated repair expense from the unexpected problem strained the sisters’ limited incomes.

“If you have any kind of unexpected expense, there goes either the repair or the groceries,” Tetzlaff said.

So, the sisters turned to Issaquah Community Services for assistance.

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Issaquah Community Services needs donations to meet summer demand

July 17, 2012

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

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Merry Christmas Issaquah donations set record

January 10, 2012

End of the year donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah sent the fund drive well beyond its $65,000 goal. With $77,362 total donations, the fund drive set a new record, 16 percent ahead of last year. There were 231 donors, also a new record.

The donations ranged from a few dollars to dual donations of $10,000. The proceeds will ensure that Issaquah Community Services has adequate funding to meet the growing needs for emergency financial assistance. During 2011, more than $88,000 in assistance was provided to local families facing eviction or utility shut-off, or just needing a bus ticket.

Merry Christmas Issaquah was first initiated by The Issaquah Press in 1981 when about $1,000 was donated. Over the past three decades, more than $785,000 has been collected to fund ICS in the nonprofit organization’s mission of providing emergency financial aid.

The fund drive is closed for the year, but donations can be sent any time to ICS, P.O. Box 669, Issaquah, WA 98027. ICS is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Learn more or volunteer by emailing

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Merry Christmas Issaquah fund to stay open until Jan. 8

January 3, 2012

Merry Christmas Issaquah

2011 goal: $65,000

To date: $50,037

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.

For the first time in decades, the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund appears it will close the year well behind its goal, and well behind last year’s contributions.

As of Dec. 30, the fund was just past $50,000. The goal for the fund drive is $65,000.

Merry Christmas Issaquah benefits Issaquah Community Services, the nonprofit agency that provides emergency financial aid to families facing eviction, utility shut-off, medical needs and more.

Payments are never made directly to the client.

Issaquah Community Services is all volunteers, allowing 100 percent of donations to go directly to aid families in need.

The city provides office space and telephones.

To donate, send checks to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Donor names, but not amounts, will be published unless anonymity is requested.

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