Helping Neighbors: F.I.S.H. and United Way Work Together to Help Island Neighbors
F.I.S.H OF SANCAP has been a United Way partner and Sanibel-Captiva’s only United Way House since 2010. The F.I.S.H. / United Way partnership provides for a large coalition of organizations to combine efforts in providing services, programs, volunteers and support. “United Way is a dedicated partner that helps us provide assistance beyond what the resources of F.I.S.H. can provide alone. Our partnership is a vital link between F.I.S.H. and our community,” says Maggi Feiner, President & CEO. “Partnering with United Way has made a difference in the lives of our island neighbors.”
Through their United Way partnership, F.I.S.H. is able to offer services such as referrals to counseling and treatment centers, healthcare referrals, workshops, tax preparation assistance, vital health screenings and more. “As a Social Worker and Program Director with F.I.S.H., it is helpful to know that we have the support of all the United Way partners,” says Jessi Zeigler, M.S.W. “The individuals we work with may need many resources, types of assistance and/or services that are outside the realm of what F.I.S.H. alone can offer. Being able to offer credible, valuable resources through our United Way partnership makes us that much more effective. Together, we can point our neighbors in the right direction to help them continue on their journey in a more productive and fulfilling way.”
Says Clifford Smith, United Way President, “F.I.S.H. is a phenomenal United Way partner, and we are so appreciative of what they do every day to help so many people who live, work and/or visit the islands. Having a United Way House on Sanibel is truly an important piece to serving residents, workers and visitors alike in their time of need. Over 12,600 individuals were assisted (by using a myriad of duplicated service requests) through the Sanibel United Way House last year- a clear demonstration of the value the United Way House brings to the islands. F.I.S.H. obviously plays a critical role in that, offering services ranging from the F.I.S.H. food pantry to social worker case management. Through our partnership, the island community has access to resources it might not otherwise have.”
With the strong, caring partnership between F.I.S.H. and United Way, F.I.S.H. was able to assist in the completion of 59 tax returns (through the VITA program) in 2015. Many households that work on the islands (but live off island) were referred to United Way 211 for referrals. Several received additional healthcare referrals to various United Way Partners. “This partnership provides such necessary support to so many in our community. We cannot thank United Way enough for their support. We at F.I.S.H. are proud to be a United Way Partner,” states Maggi Feiner.