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Originally published December 18, 2012 at 8:26 PM | Page modified January 2, 2013 at 7:48 AM

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Readers give generously to Fund For The Needy

The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy is on track to raise the largest amount in its history.

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Some have given exactly $1,200 — perhaps thinking of the dozen community-service agencies that benefit from The Seattle Times Fund For The Needy.

Others give in honor of grandchildren, or friends.

In the past few days, a few have donated money in memory of the Newtown, Conn., shooting victims.

The Fund For The Needy is once again on track to raise the largest amount in its history. As of Dec. 18, the 2-½-month campaign has raised $585,741 — more than $30,000 above last year's midpoint total. The money has thus far come from 2,176 donors.

"We're continually amazed at the generosity of our readers," said Alan Fisco, executive vice president of The Seattle Times. "Our agencies continue to do great work, and are stretched as thin as ever."

The largest single donation to date: a check for $60,000.

One donor sent a Christmas card with a note to Samuel Martin, the mentor at Treehouse who was featured in a story about the agency, which assists foster children.

A donation was also made in his honor.

Donors "like giving to the fund because of the variety of the agencies," said Patty Delaney, treasury-services supervisor for The Times. "We get Christmas cards that say, 'Thanks so much again for doing it this year.' "

The fund drive raises money annually for 12 community-service organizations which provide critical services to hundreds of families every year. Those agencies feed and shelter the homeless, deliver meals to homebound seniors, distribute donated clothing, counsel troubled youth, support foster children and offer preschool programs.

Now in its 34th year, the fund has raised about $15.4 million since its creation.

Last year on Dec. 18, the fund had raised $555,379 from 2,069 donors, and by the time the campaign ended in January, it had raised $1.15 million.

Katherine Long: 206-464-2219 or klong@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @katherinelong.

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