Helping Neighbors: The Volunteers and Donors of F.I.S.H. Make It All Happen
As the SW Florida ‘season’ comes to a close, FISH OF SANCAP says farewell to their seasonal volunteers and donors who return home for the summer months. “We cannot thank you enough for sharing your time with us while you were here and hope you know the positive impact you made on the lives of so many of our island neighbors. We cannot complete the significant work we do without your energy, enthusiasm and compassion,” states Maggi Feiner, FISH President & CEO. “Our donors and volunteers are the lifeblood of FISH. During the summer, we continue to provide our services with a skeleton crew of available volunteers and donations, and it’s not easy. We already can’t wait for your return, and we thank you for your support,” Maggi continues.
FISH volunteers and donors make it all happen for island neighbors. Volunteers are drivers to appointments, both on and off island. Near and far, they pick up food products from Harry Chapin, Midwest Food Bank, Bailey’s, Jerry’s, Publix, Island Pharmacy, CVS and The Farmer’s Market. Through midday traffic, volunteers deliver nutritious meals to folks from Captiva to the East End and arrange equipment pickups seven days a week. FISH volunteers answer phones, stock shelves, assemble backpacks, wrap presents and much more. They are a shoulder to lean on, an ear to lend and a smiling face to so many islanders.
FISH donors not only provide financial support but also donations of products for the Food Pantry, Backpack Program, Equipment and Bike Programs. They lend their professional backgrounds to the Tutoring and Workshop Programs by providing in-kind services for neighbors, and their support is critical to the programs and services of FISH.
Many volunteers and donors are seasonal, leaving FISH with a small supply of able bodies and product donations to service year-round requests. “May through October are tough for us since many have gone home or are traveling for the summer. We lose 85% of our volunteer base during this time and donations, particularly of food products, decreases dramatically. The need, however continues and in some areas increases,” states Maggi.
FISH is always looking to recruit new volunteers. Volunteers are trained in area(s) of interest and placed with an experienced volunteer or staff member to help. With the help of volunteers, FISH can continue their mission to lend a helping hand to those that live, work or visit Sanibel & Captiva Islands. For additional information on the volunteering with FISH please contact Maria Espinoza, Walk-In Center Manager, (239) 472-4775.