Fishline Celebrates September’s Community Partner: Poulsbo Lions


When our community gathered recently to memorialize Garvin Tootle, Fishline’s respected Operations Manager, a striking display of red and gold was everywhere. In an honoring gesture, the Poulsbo Lions had tshirts made up that celebrated Garvin and his relationship with Fishline, the Lions and our community. The Poulsbo Lions had also taken on the arrangement of the facilities for Garvin’s memorial, and in fine Lions style, quietly and perfectly constructed a setting that will linger long in the minds of those who attended.

This is just one of many, many ways that the Poulsbo Lions group has helped Fishline. For years, some of our most demanding jobs, such as retrieving grocery items from Central at 5 am, have been taken on by members of the Lions community. They volunteer, they raise money and they rally when there is a need, as they have been doing so for many years.

Aside from assisting helping agencies like Fishline, the Lions also help with prescription glasses and hearing aids, a very needed service since many insurance policies do not include it. Because they are so quiet about their accomplishments, many do not realize all that they do to help our community. But Fishline is grateful for this partnership.

Fall Fundraiser


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

Dear Friends,

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:

Front Market
 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
Emergency Services

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

Additional Services
 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

Our thanks to these 2012 Matching Funds Partners
“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.”
Check out our sidebar to find three easy ways to give! 

Community Events, Week of September 3

Historic Downtown Poulsbo

On Wednesday, September 5Suquamish Church of Christ will host a community dinner between 5-7pm. This is a weekly event. All are welcome. 

On Thursday, September 6, First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo will host a community dinner between 5-6pm. This is a weekly event. All are welcome. 

On Friday, September 7 Gateway Fellowship Church in Poulsbo will also host a community dinner, from 6 to 8pm. This is a monthly event and all are welcome. 

On Saturday, September 8, Gateway Fellowship Church in Poulsbo will also host a community lunch, from 11:30 to 1pm. This is a weekly event and all are welcome. 

Donation Station: Don’t forget — on Saturday, the Fishline van will be at Albertson’s in Poulsbo to collect food and clothing donations from 11am to 1pm. This is a weekly event until October.

Contact NK Fishline to add your event to our calendar! Want to plan ahead? Visit our website to review the events calendar.

Community Events, Week of August 27

Historic Downtown Poulsbo
Historic Downtown Poulsbo

On Wednesday, August 29, Suquamish Church of Christ will host a community dinner between 5-7pm. This is a weekly event. All are welcome.

On Thursday, August 30, First Lutheran Church in Poulsbo will host a community dinner between 5-6pm. This is a weekly event. All are welcome.

On Saturday, September 1st, Gateway Fellowship Church in Poulsbo will also host a community lunch, from 11:30 to 1pm. This is a weekly event and all are welcome.

Donation Station: Don’t forget — on Saturday, the Fishline van will be at Albertson’s in Poulsbo to collect food and clothing donations from 11am to 1pm. This is a weekly event until October.

Marina Market is sponsoring the Poulsbo BrewCrawl until September 3. This will be the last weekend! Click here to read more!

Contact NK Fishline to add your event to our calendar! Want to plan ahead? Visit our website to review the events calendar.


Remembering Garvin

On Saturday, August 25, North Kitsap Fishline hosted a Memorial Service for Garvin Tootle.  The event was held at the Poulsbo waterfront.  Sunny skies and a light breeze greeted a large group of friends and family that gathered to honor his memory. Throughout the seated guests were bright red shirts with yellow writing — honoring Garvin’s service to the Marine Corps and sharing a sentiment that made everyone smile:  

The shirts read — “Can I lend you a hand?….Garvin made me do it.” 
The service began with a reading about service to others, from 1 Peter 4:10.

Chuck Weaver than shared Garvin’s Story — his service to the Marine Corps, to his family, and to the community.  Jim Stark from the Poulsbo Noon Lions then shared his memories of Garvin, many of which drew smiles from the crowd.  Afterwards, friends and fellow volunteers spoke fondly of Garvin.

His daughter gave an emotional thanks to the crowd — she shared how touched she was to hear the kind words about Garvin’s life and work here in Poulsbo, and was thankful to have this glimpse into the legacy he leaves behind.

Mary Nader, Executive Director of NK Fishline spoke last — and said it best — “I’m sure Heaven is a much more smoothly running place because you’re there.”

Eric Alexander played and sang “Believe Me” — a song he wrote for the memorial.  He then lead the group in singing “Happy Birthday” — Saturday would have been Garvin’s 70th birthday. It was an emotional tribute — many in the crowd teared up by the end of the song.

The most touching part of the service was looking at the people that gathered together — the diversity present in the NK Fishline friends and family.  It’s clear that Garvin leaves behind something so very special to the many people whose lives he touched — whether to lend a helping hand, to teach a life lesson, to inspire or simply to share a smile.   

Garvin Tootle, age 69, passed away on June 26, 2012 from cancer.  He was a retired Marine Corps officer of 23 years and, until recently, Operations Manager of NK Fishline. 

          He is survived by his wife, Joan Tootle, one son, two daughters and five grandchildren. 

To adequately describe Garvin would take volumes, but being a private person, he did not enjoy being the center of attention.  To honor this, just a few of his memorable traits will be mentioned here.

He had a deep, unwavering love for his country; constantly strived to be of service to family, friends    and community; greatly respected work well done and those who did it; and was a great admirer of personal, moral and physical strength.  One of his greatest wishes was to be a hero to someone and this he accomplished many times over. 

He fought this dreadful disease for over seven years and continued to be active until almost his last breath.  his greatest passion in the later part of his life was dedicated to Fishline, its volunteers and the clients.  This is what motivated him and kept him going daily, long after his advanced disease took over his body.  

This multi-faceted man could be either charming or fearsome, depending on the situation; however, no matter what, he was always respected, loved and admired by those who really knew him.  

(from the Memorial Program)