Once again this year at Holiday time FISH is helping low-income families. We traditionally provide non-perishable foods and gifts for children, but the problems of distributing physical items during the coronavirus pandemic make this approach unworkable. So, instead, we are providing gift cards that families can use to purchase food and toys for their children. To make this successful, we need to raise substantial sums to purchase these gift cards. If you are able to help us with this venture, you can make your donation by clicking HERE. Note, as explained below, that your donation will be tax-deductible even if you do not itemize deductions on your 2020 tax return.
It Is Now Easier to Donate to FISH in this Time of Acute Need
To encourage more charitable giving in 2020, the $2 trillion "CARES Act" reduces the after-tax cost of giving. Even if, as most people do, you take the standard deduction on your 2020 tax return, you can still claim a deduction of up to $300 for an individual and $600 for couples for cash donations to charity you make this year. This means it costs less to donate because the deduction reduces your tax bill. Normally, you have to itemize deductions to get a tax break for charitable donations.
If you give $500 or more to FISH, you may also be eligible for a 65% state tax credit. In that case, your net cost of giving will be quite low. (Click here for details.)
Please consider Herndon Reston FISH for your 2020 charitable giving and help us help our neighbors in need.
FISH Traditional Assistance Role Expands
Our basic mission of helping our neighbors deal with short-term financial crises remains unchanged, but the scope and nature of FISH’s role expanded greatly beginning in May of this year. In response to the corona virus pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act, which allocated $200 million to Fairfax County to provide pandemic relief. The County determined that FISH would be responsible for distributing $1.8 million through the end of the year to individuals and families that the County determines are eligible for assistance. As a result, the bulk of the money that FISH distributed from May through October –$1.2 million – came from this source. However, we continue to help meet the needs of people who do not qualify for the new County program, using funds we raise from grants and donations. We feel grateful for the opportunity to meet citizens’ needs during this crisis and for the County’s confidence in our capacity to do this job well.
Our Annual Report for the 2020 fiscal year (July 1, 1919, through June 30, 2020) is now available (click here). The report summarizes the year’s activities, lays out the accomplishments FISH achieved during the period, and shows how we generated and spent funds.
FISH held its annual meeting on November 19, 2020 via Zoom, when we reviewed the accomplishments of the year and recognized volunteers who had made essential contributions to the work of FISH over the years.
The Bargain Loft, our thrift store, was closed for a period because of the coronavirus pandemic, but reopened on July 14, adhering to all recommended safety precautions to protect customers and volunteers alike. It is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Once again, FISH helped to make the holiday season a bit more festive for low-income families. Traditionally we have provided nonperishable food and toys, but the situation with the coronavirus made physical distribution unsafe this year. Therefore, we provided gift cards that families can use to purchase toys and food. The goal of our Holiday program was to help 275 families by providing $50 in Giant gift cards for groceries and a $25 Target gift card for toys for each child in those families. if you would like to help in future efforts, donations may be made by clicking here, or you may drop off $25 Giant or Target gift cards at our Bargain Loft (336 Victory Drive in Herndon).
As always, we depend upon and very much appreciate the support of individuals, churches, charitable organizations, foundations, and you for the support that make our mission possible.
President, Board of Directors
The FISH Mission
To help Herndon and Reston residents cope with short-term financial crises by providing Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help.
We help stabilize lives by preventing an eviction, keeping utilities from being turned off, and helping to finance immediate medical needs.