Nearly halfway through The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy campaign this year, generous readers have donated about $1.3 million to support 12 nonprofits providing vital services to Puget Sound residents.
The fund has raised more than $25 million since it started 40 years ago, with 100% of donations going to the nonprofits. The Seattle Times raised its goal to $2 million this year in recognition of increased need in the region, and it’s more than halfway to the goal with more than a week before the drive’s Dec. 28 midway point.
The 41st Fund For The Needy campaign has raised more than $1.27 million so far, thanks to more than 1,600 donors, including one woman who bequeathed $500,000 to the fund in her will. Excluding that remarkably large gift, donations have ranged from $5 to $50,000, with an average gift of around $400.
“As we now approach the midpoint of this year’s campaign, I am struck by three things. One, the amazing work being done at our participating agencies to serve very diverse needs in our community,” said Seattle Times president Alan Fisco. “Two, the great storytelling being done by our journalists to bring to life this wonderful work. And last, but certainly not least, the generosity of our readers.”
The donations will help the nonprofits provide a range of services to the community, from counseling and substance-use services, to housing and mentorship for at-risk youth. The nonprofits’ impact is clear in stories told by the people they serve.
An alumna of the foster-care system told The Times that Treehouse has provided support other young adults can typically find from parents. A Bellevue family said Kindering helped their 3½-year-old son, who has developmental delays, reach milestones like learning to walk. An 86-year-old Burien woman credits Asian Counseling and Referral Service with saving her life.
One donor said she was inspired after reading a Seattle Times article about how Hopelink helped a family with five children move from a minivan into a transitional apartment.
Many gifts to the fund have been made in memory of loved ones, and readers have also chosen to make gifts this year in lieu of buying presents for the holidays. Reader Judi Wentz, for example, includes The Times’ articles about the nonprofits in cards she sends to family members.
Shoreline resident Krista Tenney and five of her longtime friends donate to nonprofits in honor of each other instead of exchanging gifts. Tenney decided to give to Fund For The Needy.
“I wanted to reach as many people as I could with my donation, so I chose The Seattle Times’ fund because of all the groups it works with,” she said. “I like reading the stories about the organizations the fund will be supporting and the human lives that they touch.”
Donations to Fund For The Needy can be made until the end of January.