A young girl was walking along a beach upon which thousands of starfish had been washed up during a terrible storm. When she came to each starfish, she would pick it up and throw it back into the ocean. People watched her in amazement.
She had been doing this for some time when a man approached her and said, “Little girl, why are you doing this? Look at this beach! You can’t save all these starfish. You can’t begin to make a difference!” The girl seemed crushed, suddenly deflated. But after a few moments, she bent down, picked up another starfish and hurled it as far as she could into the ocean. Then she looked up at the man and replied, “Well, I made a difference to that one!”
Inspired, the man joined the little girl in throwing starfish back into the sea. Soon others joined, and all the starfish were saved.
— adapted from The Star Thrower
by Loren C. Eiseley
The familiar starfish story often comes to our minds at Fishline. In a time of unparalleled growth, when we are providing food and emergency services to over 100 families a day while new clients come to us at the rate of 3 to 5 per day, it may seem that we will never get ahead of the need. But no matter how long the line might be, our goal is to offer hope and security, one individual or one family at a time. Though each circumstance is different, each story unique, we all share a desire to be treated with respect and compassion and to know we are not alone.
For more than 45 years, Fishline remains the first place troubled North Kitsap neighbors go to on their road to stabilization. More than a food bank, we now offer an array of services accessible through our partnerships with agencies throughout the county. But our greatest success, in my opinion, is our ability to listen to the needs of our neighbors and find ways to help. To that end, Fishline has been busy this year, strengthening our current programs and adding new services that we’ve learned are needed. Here’s a recap, but you can check our website for a full description of programs, services and financials:
Over 100,000 lbs. distributed each month
Offers a variety of fresh, nutritious products
Growing 20% each year since 2008
Remodeled to look and feel like a grocery store
Helped over 600 families last year with:
Rent or mortgage
Electric or water bills
Emergency housing for homeless
Clothing, medical co-pays and transportation assistance
Children and Senior Services
Nearly 200 children received weekend meals through Food for Thought program in 2011/2012.
Grocery Delivery Service initiated in 2012 for homebound seniors
Provide backpacks filled with school supplies to hundreds of local children each September
Holiday programs helped 700 families last year
Second Season sells donated items to contribute $10,000 each month for client care
Seminars on employment, nutrition and financial guidance planned in 2012
Plans are underway for a Home Share program linking homeowners’ spare rooms with screened clients needing low-cost housing options.
Fishline goes to its community to ask for donations only once a year. This year, local business partners have come together to provide additional grant money based upon how much we raise during this campaign, now through October. Your donation will go further than it ever has, thanks to this special partnership. Money we raise will not only support our regular programs but will provide school supplies, holiday meals, toys for Christmas and help for the homeless during the coldest time of the year. If you like, you can earmark your donation for a specific program such as homeless support, Food for Thought, our holiday programs or any of the special programs listed on our web page. Simply note it on your check or when you make your online donation. Remember, 96% of every dollar you donate will go directly to those in need, a percentage independently verified by the State of Washington.
Will your donation make a difference? We’ll answer that question with another story, this one a little closer to home. Recently, a new client was putting food she had received from Fishline into her car, and she was crying. When another client asked her if she was OK, she responded, “I’m just overwhelmed. It’s such a relief knowing we’ll have enough food. I didn’t know help like this was available.” These beautiful moments happen often at Fishline, reminders of our ability to make a difference in the lives of our hard-working, courageous neighbors. Your donation will allow us to keep this progress going, and together we will assure a caring and compassionate community for all.
In gratitude for your support of the Fishline Mission,
Mary Nader, Executive Director
|“Fishline fills an important need in our North Kitsap community, and it is a well-managed charity. We are sure that our contribution is going to people with a genuine need.”
|“We give because it goes directly to help the folks right here in our own community.”
|“Neighbors helping neighbors is a goal that we personally support with Fishline.”
|“We are longtime supporters of Fishline. It is our way of giving back to the community that has been so supportive of us.”
|“We support Fishline because they are all about the common good.”