Island House recently hosted an art show featuring photos from Mercer Island High School students. At the event, Mac McQuade also collected donations for the Downsizing Network.

Island House recently hosted an art show featuring photos from Mercer Island High School students. At the event, Mac McQuade also collected donations for the Downsizing Network.

Downsizing Donation Network makes it easier for Mercer Islanders to spread joy

Local seniors community is bridging the gap between charities, small businesses and downsizers

When Mac McQuade meets with seniors considering a move to Island House MBK Senior Living, there’s one phrase he hears over and over: “What will I do with all this stuff?”

Downsizing can be a daunting task, but it’s one that McQuade and his colleagues at Island House have tackled more than once — and they’ve seen how free and happy people feel once they’ve let go of unnecessary items. So McQuade came up with the idea for the Downsizing Donation Network.

The goal, when it’s all set up, is to collect clothing and household goods from prospective residents and quickly filter them to areas of need within the community. McQuade has already established partnerships with the Mercer Island Thrift Shop, Mary’s Place and Bridge Ministries, and is slowly partnering with more community groups for a more diverse network. Those who donate will have the benefit of a lighter load, and will also receive a gift card to a local business like Island Books or L’Experience Paris.

“It’s a great representation of who we are at Island House. We’re committed to our neighborhood and are always looking for ways to help,” McQuade says. “Creating this re-use network helps both downsizers and those who need donations, and including the gift cards means we’re supporting other small businesses too.”

How you can help

McQuade has already collected donations from a number of downsizers, but to fully realize the potential of the Downsizing Donation Network he’s hoping more businesses and volunteers step forward.

“Thomas Wu, a Mercer Island real estate agent, has volunteered to help raise awareness and connect with local businesses. I’m looking for other volunteers who can help with pick-up and drop-off, or help build the network of businesses and charity organizations,” he says.

McQuade is now collecting donations at all Island House events, including a recent art show displaying photos from Mercer Island High School students.

“Five dollars from each print sold was donated to Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, and some of our residents also knitted hats and scarves, with sales benefitting Seattle Children’s Hospital,” McQuade says. “We also collected about three bags of donations for the Downsizing Network. Probably the most impressive thing so far was a gorgeous antique doll house that’s going to have a wonderful second life now.”

Serving the Island’s seniors since 1989

Island House senior living has 79 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in the heart of town center. About half of the seniors live independently and half take advantage of assisted living services, making it easy to age in place.

To book a tour call 206-209-0768, or visit mbkseniorliving.com/senior-living/wa/mercer-island/island-house-assisted-living to learn more. Find Island House at 7810 SE 30th St., Mercer Island.


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The Island House Downsizing Donation Network will collect clothing and household goods from prospective residents and quickly filter them to areas of need within the community.

The Island House Downsizing Donation Network will collect clothing and household goods from prospective residents and quickly filter them to areas of need within the community.

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