Hope in Volunteering

Success Story
Mary and her Grandma after her graduation ceremony

Mary came to Fishline through Coffee Oasis’s Hope, Inc program. Hope, Inc. is designed to help youth ages 18-25 gain employable skills and work history by partnering with businesses willing to help mentor, teach work ethics, workplace conduct, and develop job skills.

Although she’s completed the program’s mandatory 100 hours, she’s staying on as a volunteer! When I asked her why, she said “I go home every afternoon, plop on the couch, and say out loud ‘I love my job’… and I work with awesome people.”

Mary learned how to garden, how to ask questions, and—as a committed follower of Weight Watchers—even how to avoid the baked goodies in the break room. She recently brought her grandma in to see the progress in the garden, making it a family affair.

School Supply Program

Most Needed items

Fishline’s School Supply Program

Fishline’s School Supply program is accepting donations for the 2017 school year now through August 18th.

Each year Fishline’s School Supply Program provides children in need with basic school for supplies for the upcoming fall.  The cost of sending students back to school adds to family budgets that are already stretched thin and some are unable to purchase items needed for their children. We greatly appreciate your efforts in helping us meet our goals this year to provide school supplies for those children .

We need:

  • Glue sticks
  • Colored pencils
  • Loose-leaf paper, college and wide-ruled
  • Composition books
  • Pencil Pouches
  • Plastic supply boxes
  • Washable color markers
  • Pens (blue and black)
  • Pens (red)
  • #2 Pencils
  • Erasers (pink pearl)
  • Spiral notebooks, college and wide-ruled
  • Pocket folders
  • 3 ring binders
  • Metal edge rulers
  • Backpacks

School supply donations can be dropped off at the following locations in Poulsbo:

  • North Kitsap Fishline, 787 NW Liberty Lane
  • Second Seasons Thrift Store, 18825 Anderson Parkway
  • Second Season Home Store, 18916 3rd Ave
  • Poulsbo City Hall, 200 NE Moe St
  • North Point Church, 1779 NE Hostmark St

School supply drives or any large quantity donations should arrange a drop off day and time with Kathy Smith, Special Programs Coordinator. Call (360) 598-6282.

Finding peace in a new home

Success Story

In December 2016, Fishline was contacted by a couple in their sixties regarding their inhabitable living situation.

Long time Home Delivery clients of Fishline, recently reached out to their trusted food bank for additional help. Their rental of nine years was experiencing severe plumbing issues causing the septic to backed up to a point where they were unable to use their sink, toilet, or shower. The landlord did a temporary fix to remedy the situation so the home was habitable; however, the couple needed to find another living situation as the landlord planned to sell the home.

Through tears the client shared she was overwhelmed and anxious with the prospect of finding affordable housing to fit their needs. She explained that her husband has a rare disease that mimics Alzheimer’s and that she herself has heart issues, and as a result they are housebound. They live on a fixed income of $1,200.00 a month and needed to find a rental that accepted pets and was under $900.00, their current rent. She didn’t know if finding an affordable rental was possible and was hoping for some financial assistance to help with the move.

Over the next several months, the staff at Fishline and Housing Solutions Center worked collaboratively to find an affordable rental for this couple. We found a low-income apartment on Bainbridge Island and in April the couple moved to their new home. Fishline partnered with Housing Solutions Center, Kitsap Community Resources, Helpline House, Bainbridge Island St Vincent de Paul, and donor directed funds from LIONS to pay for the movers, cab fare, first month’s rent, deposit, and ongoing rental assistance for two consecutive months.

The best part is their rent is now lower and they are no longer housebound. Living in the heart of Winslow they are able to walk to Helpline, the pharmacy, and their doctor’s office. After settling into their new home, the couple contacted Fishline to say thank you for the support during this stressful me in their life. They love their new apartment and feel at peace in their new home.



(originally printed in the North Kitsap Herald on April 14, 2017)

Michael, a teenager who I thought had completed his mandated community service hours with us, was waiting in Fishline’s lobby. He told me he had 30 minutes. My heart sank. “But I thought you were finished!” I said. “What about the court deadline?” I continued, starting to panic a little for him. He began volunteering in our market as part of Kitsap County’s diversion program, aimed to keep youth out of the court system by providing them with an opportunity to give back to the community. He had been “volun-told.”

Fishline is a popular choice for many required to perform community service hours, whether due to traffic tickets or as part of their school’s Honor’s Society. But it’s not just those fulfilling their community service who are drawn here. We currently have nearly 300 active volunteers. Some have been volunteering here for decades. Some use Fishline’s services, like the food market. Some are retired, others have full-time jobs. Are these 300 people just exceptional individuals? Well, yes (after all, they may be reading this!), but there’s more to the story of volunteerism…

Many of the ways that Fishline and other not-for-profit organizations help are pretty obvious—paying a utility bill in the dead of winter or providing a home-bound senior with groceries, for example. But the less apparent needs that are fulfilled here are arguably just as important, maybe even more so. We all recognize that as humans we have non-physical needs, like a sense of connection. I know you can’t eat a warm and fuzzy feeling, yet a number of studies have shown a correlation between a sense of community belonging with both physical and mental health.

And our volunteers are connected! A beloved volunteer passed away last year. A group of his friends regularly wear a t-shirt with his photo on it. One volunteer wrote out birthday cards for every single Fishline volunteer one year. Another makes apple cake twice a week to feed her fellow volunteers. I could go on and on. The culture of our community is one that seeks to bring out the best in people, even in the worst of circumstances.

Back to Michael, the teenager. He clarified. He wasn’t here because he had to be. He had a rough day at school, had some time before he had to be anywhere else, and missed being here. As a skeptic of altruism, I believe that what truly motivates a person to begin volunteering is complicated. What keeps them coming back isn’t.

National Volunteer Week will be observed April 23-29 this year. If you are interested in volunteering with North Kitsap Fishline, please contact their Volunteer Manager by email ([email protected]) or phone (360-779-4191). We’re also pleased to announce that NK Fishline will be one of the beneficiaries of this year’s United States Postal Service Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Stop by NK Fishline (Viking and Liberty Lane in Poulsbo) on Saturday, May 13th between noon-5pm to donate, observe, or volunteer.

I Need Help with Everything

Success Story

A male client called saying he needed help with “everything”. He spoke quietly and sounded distressed. He admitted he is an alcoholic and lost everything because of his drinking and doesn’t know what to do. An appointment was made for him the following day to talk to the advocate.

He showed up on time but the advocate smelled liquor on his breath. He was pale and looked like he was holding back tears throughout the meeting. He asked for rental assistance and help with his power bill. He wasn’t working due to his alcohol problem. The advocate said Fishline would review his request to get help with his bills after he did the following: 1) completed detox, 2) returned to AA, 3) met with a financial counselor, and 4) dealt with his traffic ticket.

Since his first meeting, he has followed through with all of his assigned tasks and maintained contact with the advocate. He started working again. He met with the HSC navigator and was approved for rental assistance. He contributed $100 to his auto insurance bill so Fishline paid the remainder of his bill with Lions Club funding. The client shops weekly for food and stops to say hello to the Advocate, where he is greeted with a smile and receives positive comments for his continued sobriety. Last week, the client wrote a note to the Lions Club and Fishline to thank us for the support during this difficult time.