December 14, 2010
There are few classical holiday songs as iconic as Handel’s “Messiah.” St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church invites the community to experience the choral masterpiece while helping others in need.
The church presents Sing & Play-Along Messiah at 2 p.m. Dec. 19. Singers of all ages, abilities and skill levels are invited to join the choir and instrumentalists comfortable playing Baroque music are welcome to join the orchestra. Everyone else is invited to the experience, which benefits the Merry Christmas Issaquah fund — 100 percent of donations go toward helping local families in need. Read more
December 7, 2010
The Merry Christmas Issaquah 2010 fund drive is open, just as the bank account for emergency aid to local families is nearly depleted.
It’s often this way. It’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Issaquah Community Services, the all-volunteer nonprofit organization that dispenses the donated funds, gives all it can each year to a growing number of requests from Issaquah-area residents.
The organization counts on new donations to cover the next year’s requests. Those requests are up 65 percent in the last two years, so it is rare for anyone to get more than $200 in assistance with rent, utilities, a car repair or another dire need.
December 7, 2010
It is time to overcome hardship with giving
Let’s get right to the heart of the matter. Government budget cuts in 2011 are going to hurt the people who need the most help. With the federal, state, county and city dealing with huge revenue deficits — just when layoffs, furloughs and medical cost hikes are hurting most — the shredded social safety net is going to fail a lot of folks.
That’s why it is so important, in fact imperative, that this Christmas season we try to keep our local charities uppermost in our giving impulses. It’s the worst hardships those in need in the next calendar year will face that we need to anticipate and head off here and now.
In case a memory refresher will do some good, these are a few local places that can use our spirit of generosity:
Eastside Baby Corner in Issaquah provides for children in need from birth to age 12 throughout the Eastside. To quote their website, “What you give, we give, to Eastside families struggling with job loss, homelessness, medical crisis and poverty.”
November 23, 2010
Merry Christmas Issaquah, the emergency-aid fund for families in the Issaquah School District, is now open for 2010 contributions. To meet the growing demand for assistance with rent, utilities and other financial emergencies, the 2010 goal has been set at $60,000 for the annual fund drive.
Last year, $53,077 was donated. The fund was started in 1981 with about $1,000 in donations. Since then, more than $650,000 has been donated.
Merry Christmas Issaquah is the only fund drive that supports the efforts of Issaquah Community Services, a nonprofit agency run completely by volunteers. Three quarters of the annual budget of Issaquah Community Services comes from donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah.
Thanks to the work of volunteers, 100 percent of donations go directly to families in need. The city of Issaquah covers operational costs.
2010 goal: $60,000
Send donations to Merry Christmas Issaquah, c/o The Issaquah Press, P.O. Box 1328, Issaquah, WA 98027. Donation names, but not dollar amounts, will be published unless anonymity is requested.
January 12, 2010
The Merry Christmas Issaquah emergency aid fund has closed its annual fund drive with $52,977 in donations. The goal was $50,000. Read more
December 29, 2008
The Tuesday before Christmas was “one of the saddest days in my seven years” helping clients who come to Issaquah Church & Community Services for emergency aid, said one of the longtime volunteers there.
“We’re not just helping homeless people here. We are helping people who didn’t plan on needing our help,” she said.
Like the ex-Microsoft employee who had already given up gas heat last summer in an effort to pare household expenses. Now, just as temperatures plummeted, she was in danger of having her electricity cut off, too. Read more
December 15, 2008
TO DATE: $16,945
As winter approaches, the calls increase from families needing a bit of financial help to keep them in their homes and the heat on. Read more
December 8, 2008
The volunteers at Issaquah Church and Community Services listen to the stories of people who are down on their luck and try to help. But no matter how much they help, another person will be right behind them.
Issaquah residents who come to Church and Community Services are usually at the end of the line, not knowing how to stave off the bill collectors. And more often than not, this feeling of helplessness is a new experience for them.