Opinion

Helping our own

Despite the early hour, the wind-tossed hike up the steps (in high heels) from the Luther Burbank parking lot to our beautiful new Community Center was a worthwhile effort. The coffee was good, the company lively, and the sponsor of the early-morning fund-raising breakfast, Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, held a blessedly brief and informative program. Most innovative was the addition of Karen Campbell, the drama teacher from Mercer Island High School and Island attorney, Craig Wright, who performed rather than read a sampling of heartfelt comments and thanks from those the agency has helped.

MIYFS, funded with grants, donations and monies raised by the increasingly successful thrift store at Mercerdale Park, is made up of dedicated professionals who help Islanders and their families with counseling, social services and even food on an emergency basis.Their clients are young and old, rich and poor who sometimes find themselves in tough or unexpected situations in their personal life, work life or both. Any of us at any time could find our world turned upside down with an accident or sudden illness, a death, a fire, the loss of a job. The people helped by MIYFS are family members, our neighbors, co-workers and friends.They are Islanders.

The passion that the agency and its supporters feel is clearly apparent, visible in the amount of work that any event of this type requires. Members from the community were there in force to help out. There were table captains from the community, grandparents setting tables, working dads and moms finding sponsors, adding in art and sweets, coordinating all the details that make an event like this work. They are the people we find at these events throughout the year, for the Boys & Girls Club, Rotary Club, the Lions, the Mercer Island Schools Foundation — and at our churches and synagogues.

John Gordon Hill, whose comments are reprinted below, said it very simply. How well we care for each other is the truest measure of a community.

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