8 Ways to Give with MI Local Businesses

November 16, 2014 | by Erin Sirianni

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Mercer Island is a small community that’s big on giving. Islanders of all ages endlessly dedicate their time, energy, and resources to chosen causes, on and off island. That generosity extends to our businesses as well. In the spirit of the season, they are finding creative ways to partner with the community to give back – and everyone reaps the benefits of benevolence.

Here are six ways Islanders can partner with their local businesses to give back:

1) Give the gift of food with Au Courant
Earlier this year, Au Courant Salon helped raise over $30,000 to benefit landslide victims and their families with its “Mercer Island Cares Oso Much Campaign.” They now invite Islanders to join their November community-giving campaign to benefit the Mercer Island Youth & Family Services (MIYFS) food bank. They welcome donations of dry, canned and boxed food items; baby food and supplies, including diapers; and QFC and Albertson’s gift cards.
Learn more about Au Courant’s Food Drive >>

2) Support literacy and local schools with Island Books
This November, Island Books is host to eight book fairs benefiting local schools. Parents are invited to do their holiday shopping, visit with friends, and even enjoy a glass of wine, depending on the hour. A portion of every purchase is donated back to the sponsored school. In 2013, Island Books donated over $14,000 to schools from those purchases. On Friday, November 21st, Island Books is hosting a book fair with proceeds going to Page Ahead, a Seattle-based literacy program that donates new books and develops reading activities that empower at-risk children.
More about Island Books Book Fairs >>

3) Donate a Toy for a Tot with JayMarc Homes and Coldwell Banker Bain
Toys for Tots is a campaign organized by the US Marine Corps Reserve that has brought toys as holiday gifts to children in families in need since 1947. Donate a new, unwrapped toy at the following drop-off locations:
JayMarc Model Home:  2436 60th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA
Open: Friday – Tues, 11 am – 5 pm
Drop off details for JayMarc Homes >>
Coldwell Banker Bain:  7808 SE 28th Street #128
Open: Monday – Sunday

4) Give the gift of warmth with Mercer Island Martial Arts
For her black belt project, Mercer Island Martial Arts student Jessica Merly is organizing a blanket drive for the Seattle Union Gospel.  Donate the gift of warmth by dropping off a blanket at the Mercer Island Martial Arts studio, located at 2630 77th Ave SE, Suite 106-108, Mercer Island, WA.
Jessica’s story >>

5) Bring Hope to the Table with QFC
QFC, Food Lifeline, and Oregon Food Bank have teamed up during the holidays to put meals on the tables of hungry families through the campaign, “Bringing Hope to the Table.”  There are five ways you can help: 1) Purchase a pre-made $10 bag with a nutritious, food-bank approved meal at any QFC; 2) Make a $1 or $5 cash donation at checkout; 3) Drop your change in the coin boxes located at the check stand; 4) Look for special tags throughout the store marking food-bank approved items to purchase and donate at the drop bins at the front of the store; 5) Purchase participating Kendall Jackson wines and $6 will be donated for every case of product sold; 7) Purchase any Full Sail product and $1 will be donated for every case sold.

6) Dedicate your yoga practice to MIYFS with Yogabliss
Yogabliss is hosting its 7th annual “Practices of Gratitude” on Thanksgiving Day morning. Offering four classes between 8 am and 10:15 am, Yogabliss will donate all proceeds to MIYFS, the City’s human services organization that touches all Islanders through counselors in the schools, senior outreach and advocacy, affordable family counseling, family assistance, a food pantry and a thriving thrift shop. Classes are $20 per student, with the option to donate more if you wish.
Learn more and pre-register for classes >>

7) Spin for stuffing and social good with MI Athletic Club
Join USAT Certified Triathlon Coach, and MI Athletic Club owner Ginny Pietila for this indoor cycling class that will get your Thanksgiving holiday off to an energetic start.  The suggested donation is $20 with 100% of funds raised donated to MIYFS.  This is not your typical spin class!

8) Brighten the holidays for a local child with Windermere
Each December, the brokers at Windermere Real Estate/Mercer Island help brighten the holidays of local children. Through a holiday adoption program administered by MIYFS, the Windermere office has adopted five island children for the 2014 holiday season. Donations of QFC gift cards are welcomed and will be included with the children’s “wish list” items purchased by Windermere brokers.