The recently concluded Seattle Times Fund For The Needy campaign raised a record $1,416,413 from generous readers and partners. The money goes to 12 nonprofit organizations addressing a variety of needs.
Some came in Christmas cards, one came in a Valentine and another arrived in a card with a dancing elephant on the front.
A Seattle man sent $3. A foundation created by an Eastside couple gave $20,000. And a holiday caroling group in Phinney sent $425.
Together, 3,831 donors gave $1,416,413 in this year’s Seattle Times Fund For The Needy campaign, marking the most successful drive in the fund’s 37-year history.
ABOUT THIS SERIESEach year, The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy raises money for a group of charities that help children, families and senior citizens. Throughout the fall and winter, The Times is telling how the 12 organizations make a difference in the lives of thousands, and the impact donors can make. Click here to donate to Fund For The Needy.
With The Times covering the administrative costs of the fund, 100 percent of the donations will reach 12 area nonprofits that help some of the most vulnerable members of the community, including children, families and seniors.
Through donations large and small, the fund has raised more than $20 million since its creation in 1979.
At Childhaven, one of the agencies helped by the fund, President and CEO Maria Chavez Wilcox said the fund results indicate “the incredible generosity of our community.”
She said the donations “enable Childhaven to continue to implement life-changing, science-based strategies that will heal children and lift families out of the cycle of abuse and neglect.”
At Youth Eastside Services, executive director Patti Skelton-McGougan said her agency gets a double benefit from being associated with the Times fund.
“It not only brings in money to help the kids, but it helps the visibility of the organization as a whole … It’s about reaching out to the community and letting them know these services are there,” she said.
YES provides counseling to help young people and their families deal with emotional issues, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, dating violence, gang activity and bullying.
The largest donation to this year’s Times fund, $47,258, came from a first-time partnership with Glassybaby, a Seattle-based company that creates collectible handblown glasses and gives 10 percent of the purchase price to charities.
“Our vision is a society in which everyone can access healing and embrace wellness” said J.P. Liddle, Glassybaby’s vice-president for partnership development. “The 12 organizations chosen by the Fund For The Needy are working in our communities to make this vision a reality.”
Last year, Glassybaby gave away nearly $1.5 million to about 250 nonprofit organizations.
Other key contributors to The Times fund include two longtime partners, Argosy Cruises ($35,000) and The 5th Avenue Theatre ($33,100).
Branch 79 of the National Association of Letter Carriers gave $1,300 as part of its monthly program of charitable giving. Jo Ann Pyle, president of the Seattle-based union local, said The Times fund was selected “because of the variety of recipients who benefit. Kids, seniors and everyone in between.”
The caroling in Phinney involved about 30 members of the Phinney Neighborhood Community Chorus and more than 100 neighbors who joined together to sing around a fire pit outside an auto-repair shop, passing around a can for donations.
For the fifth straight year, Times readers donated more than $1 million during the 11-week fund drive. In contrast, the fund’s initial campaign raised $107,994.
Alan Fisco, The Times’ executive vice president for audience revenue, said “I want to thank our generous readers for helping us achieve a record. Your contributions will make a difference for thousands in our community.”
Fisco also cited the effort of Times staffers “helping us serve our community in this critically important way.”
Other organizations receiving donations from the fund are Sound Generations (formerly Senior Services), Wellspring Family Services, The Salvation Army, Hopelink, Atlantic Street Center, Treehouse, Asian Counseling and Referral Service, Kindering Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound, and Kent Youth and Family Services.