FISH OF SANCAP, the islands only wrap-around human service organization, is celebrating their 40th year as a ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ organization. From its beginnings as neighbors offering simple acts of kindness to other neighbors in need, 40 years later the organization is thriving and growing to fill the gaps of those living, working, and visiting Sanibel and Captiva. Today, FISH offers over 30 programs and services in the areas of food programs, island-based education, senior & social services, and helping hands financial assistance. As the neighborhood agency has grown with the years, their scope of service has evolved and broadened with the community it serves. From their food pantry, educational workshops, scholarships, and senior programs for dignified aging-in-place, to providing emergency help with expenses and disaster relief, FISH truly offers something for everyone.
FISH impacted the lives of many island residents through their programs, but the biggest success the organization saw in 2021 were three successful COVID vaccination clinics brought to the community in partnership with the Sanibel Community House, the Rotary Club of Sanibel-Captiva, the City of Sanibel Police Department, Sanibel Fire Department, Parish Nurses, Medical Offices, Pharmacies, City of Sanibel Officials and FISH volunteers. The clinics ensured that hundreds of vaccine doses were distributed to our island community.
In addition to this success, in 2021, FISH answered 25,798 service requests and impacted the lives of 2,969 individuals. They are proud to report 93% of every dollar spent went to FISH programming. Other important impacts include:
“Over the last 40 years, FISH has evolved dramatically both in terms the services we provide and the people we serve. FISH provides a range of services to people from the very young, to the very old,” says Jim Metzler, Board Chair. “One example of our expanded services are the hundreds of vaccines that FISH was able to provide last year, most of which went to seniors who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to be vaccinated. Similar to how we offer all of our services, FISH was able to offer those vaccines, by leveraging a wide set of partners and FISH volunteers. I strongly believe that working together as a community we will continue to provide the services that are needed by so many and which help to make these islands the special place they are,” continues Metzler.
For those interested in learning more about FISH, please call for a tour to meet their staff and see, first hand, how the agency works to better our community. FISH is the only Human Services Organization on Sanibel and Captiva. To learn more about the programs and services of FISH, please contact Maria Espinoza, Executive Director, at (239) 472-4775 or visit their website at www.fishofsancap.org