COVID-19 and the delta variant continue to cast awful shadows on our families and neighborhoods, on our businesses and our way of life. However, this terrible pandemic certainly does not dim the bright light of kindness and generosity that continues to shine in the town of Issaquah.
During this challenging year, I am inspired daily by the selfless examples of Issaquah residents who operate and support our amazing local nonprofits, charities, foundations and diverse service, arts and community groups. They are dedicated to help support people who are facing hardship, or enhancing the community through arts, music, history, celebrations, events and culture. Or the dedicated people who build and represent our local business community — not to mention those who help care for the beautiful mountains, creeks and lake that we so love. This collective ethos makes our wonderful city truly a special place to live, work and play.
The national initiative “Giving Tuesday” is Nov. 30. Learn more at www.givingtuesday.org.
Living in Issaquah for almost 35 years, I cannot help but to interact with, partner, donate to, help promote and be enriched by so many of these wonderful groups. As we approach the second year of this pandemic, some are doing well, but some are struggling. As we look at the remainder of the year and the festive holiday season, please don’t forget to try to help out or donate to, volunteer for, patronize or join them. Just off the top of my head, here are a few by category. If I miss any, please reach out to me and tell me about your group.
Community service and fraternal service/social groups: Kiwanis Club of Issaquah, Issaquah Rotary Club, Myrtle Lodge and the Eagles and Elks Lodges.
Business: Issaquah Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Issaquah Association.
History: Issaquah Historical Society and Museums.
Military veterans: Veterans of Foreign Wars and the nearby American Legion.
Music and arts: Village Theatre and KIDSTAGE, Pomegranate Center, Issaquah Arts Commission, Fleming Arts Center, Issaquah Philharmonic and Sammamish Symphony.
General, senior and children’s services: The amazing folks at Eastside Baby Corner, Encompass, Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, Issaquah Community Services, Friends of Youth, YWCA Family Village, Life Enrichment Options (LEO), Nourishing Network, Tavon Learning Center, Issaquah Senior Center and Habitat for Humanity.
Nature, outdoors and sports: Friends of Issaquah Salmon Hatchery (F.I.S.H.), Friends of Lake Sammamish State Park, Save Lake Sammamish, Trouts Unlimited, Issaquah Salmon Days, Issaquah Alps Trails Club, Cougar Mountain Zoo, Volunteering at Issaquah Parks and Recreation, Issaquah Soccer Club, Issaquah Sportsmen’s Club, the Issaquah Garden Club and, last but not least, Mountain to Sound Greenway.
Community: Issaquah Sister Cities Association and the Issaquah Highlands Council.
Education and literary: Issaquah Schools Foundation, Volunteers for Issaquah Schools, Issaquah PTSA and the Pacific Northwest Writer’s Association. Not to forget multiple scholarship funds and boosters/band clubs, etc. Plus groups dedicated to our local libraries, church/ministerial groups, choirs, animals (equine, dogs, cats and more), water/community associations, and just about every sport imaginable: Kayaking, basketball, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, biking and lacrosse.
You can check out all nonprofit corporations, 501 C-3s and charities in the state on the Washington Secretary of State’s website. Go to corporations search (most nonprofits) and charity/fundraiser/trust search at http://ccfs.sos.wa.gov.
In this oh so different holiday season and a hopefully better New Year, I urge you to give time, treasure, kindness, goods, voice, talent and wisdom or even a simple thank you to these and other groups in Issaquah. Each in their own way, they are dedicated to inspire, lift up, to get us active, connected, educated, and help people heal while they scatter joy and peace.
On Nov. 30, let us help give them wings.
William Shaw is general manager of the Issaquah Reporter. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 425-453-2710.