We have previously shared with you about Argosy Cruises' commitment to Community Giving. As the holiday season approaches, we want to shine a spotlight on one particular facet of that commitment: Helping to meet the basic needs of families in our community through the Seattle Times Fund for the Needy.
The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy
Established in 1979, the Fund for the Needy raises money from the Puget Sound region for a group of local charities that provide vital programs and services for children, seniors, and families in our community.
The Fund for the Needy is unique in that 100% their donations are distributed to the nonprofits within the fund.
Annually, the major push of the campaign runs November through January (during the holiday season), but donations are accepted at any time.
To date, over $19 million has been raised by donors in the greater Puget Sound community for the fund.
The Christmas Ship™ Festival and the Fund for the Needy
Starting in 1997, Argosy Cruises partnered with the Seattle Times to both contribute to the Fund for the Needy throughout the Christmas Ship™ Festival, and to spread the word about the fund throughout the season.
A portion of every ticket sale throughout the Christmas Ship™ Festival season is dedicated to the fund, and Argosy Cruises has contributed over $571,000 to the fund since the partnership began.
Local Agencies Supported by the Fund for the Needy
Asian Counseling and Referral Service: A nationally recognized nonprofit organization working for social justice and offering a broad array of behavioral health programs, human services and civic engagement activities for Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders and other communities in King County and beyond.
Atlantic Street Center: Providing educational, family support and mental health counseling services for children, youth, and their families. Primarily serves low-income African American and other families of color who reside in central, southeast and greater Seattle.
Big Brothers Big Sisters: A mentoring network providing children facing adversity with strong and enduring, professionally supported 1-to-1 relationships that change their lives for the better.
Childhaven: Providing healing care to abused, neglected and chemically affected babies, toddlers and preschoolers.
Hopelink: Serving homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities in north and east King County; providing stability and helping people gain the skills and knowledge they need to exit poverty for good.
Kent Youth and Family Services: Provides professional counseling, education and support services to children, youth and their families in the Kent, Covington and South King County, WA communities, developing innovative programs that meet the evolving challenges of our diverse community in culturally sensitive ways.
Kindering: A birth-to-age-three early intervention program providing individualized, family-centered services for children who are disabled, medically fragile or vulnerable because of abuse or neglect.
The Salvation Army: Programs for meeting basic needs including housing, youth, senior and veterans 'services, rehabilitation, disaster relief, and counseling.
Sound Generations (formerly Senior Services): Dedicated to providing information and services for older adults and their loved ones, such as caregiving information, financial and legal programs, food assistance, transportation, and LGBT resources.
Treehouse: Provides academic and other essential support for more than 7,000 youth in foster care across Washington State annually.
Wellspring Family Services: Serving low-income and vulnerable individuals, children and families in Seattle and King County in the areas of mental health, family homelessness, early learning, basic needs, and domestic violence intervention.
Youth Eastside Services: Provides mental health counseling and substance abuse treatment to help children, teens and families struggling with depression, grief, trauma, substance abuse, cultural- and gender-identity issues, bullying, dating violence, anxiety, behavior issues like ADHD and autism, low self-esteem and more.
A New Way to Give
This year, we at Argosy looked for an additional way to support the Fund for the Needy -- one that would help wrap our guests in the warmth of the holiday season and build on the foundation of giving already present in the festival.
This Christmas Ship™ Festival season, we asked the public to help design a scarf that commemorates this grand Puget Sound holiday tradition. Designs were submitted back in August and three finalists were put to public vote.
The winning scarf design (pictured above) is currently in production. Scarves are available to pre-order with ticket purchases, and a limited quantity will be available for sale on board the Christmas Ship™ and her Follow Boats. Five dollars from each scarf sold will go directly to the Seattle Times Fund for the Needy.
While the main campaign push for the Seattle Times Fund for the Needy lasts from November through January, donations are collected throughout the year.
Donations to the fund are tax-deductible. If your company has a matching gift program in place, your donation may be increased (check with your Human Resources or Benefits department to see if you qualify).