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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.

Thrift Store Manager Job Announcement

The Bargain Loft Thrift Store announces a job opening for a Manager (35 hours/week pay). Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc. (Friendly, Instant, Sympathetic Help)— a non-profit organization that assists residents of Herndon and Reston with short-term financial emergencies—operates the Bargain Loft Thrift Store in Herndon.


Requirements:  Desire to work for a non-profit organization, ability to work with existing  Microsoft Office Suite, Google Workplace and Constant Contact documents, good verbal and written communication, and the ability to manage volunteer retail store workers. Retail experience preferred. Must pass criminal background check. Must be fully vaccinated against covid.

Salary:  Hourly position at $18 - $20 per hour depending on experience.

Benefits:  3 weeks vacation, 2 weeks medical/family leave

Potential Start Date:  Immediately

Email resume and application letter to

A New Fiscal year


We are excited to begin another year providing emergency financial assistance to Reston and Herndon residents in need. This year, with the help of our generous partners, donors, and volunteers, FISH will again strive to execute our mission to help hundreds of local residents with rent, utilities, car repairs, medical bills, and other critical needs. We know that a financial crisis can happen to anyone, and FISH stands ready to lend a hand. If you are interested in strengthening your community by joining us this year, please read on for the many opportunities available to help. Donations of time and talent as well as financial support are welcome.


We are also delighted to announce Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc. is once again an approved organization under the Virginia Department of Social Services Neighborhood Assistance Program for the 2023-2024 fiscal year!


“The purpose of the Neighborhood Assistance Program (NAP) is to encourage businesses, trusts and individuals to make donations to approved 501(c)(3) organizations for the benefit of low-income persons. In return for their contributions, businesses, trusts and individuals may receive tax credits equal to 65 percent of the donation that may be applied against their state income tax liability.” To be eligible, the minimum donation by an individual is $500 and for a business or trust the minimum is $616. Unfortunately, donor-advised funds do not qualify for the NAP. You can read more about the NAP program here.

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Elliot Wicks
President, Board of Directors


Food Insecurity

According to the Fairfax County Food Council, nearly 75,000 county residents are food insecure, with nearly 60,000 children qualifying for free and reduced-price meals in Fairfax County Public Schools. Many of these residents and children live in the Herndon-Reston community. The 60,000 figure might not include all who qualify, because their parents or guardians may not have applied for the assistance. This is due primarily to lack of awareness of the program and application process, a lack of trust in the system, a concern for privacy, or a language barrier. 


Food insecurity can have long-lasting effects on children, affecting their memory, social and learning skills, and energy levels. Another factor is the stress students feel, knowing their families can’t afford the food needed to feed them.


Food insecurity is not just being hungry; it is an economic condition that is exacerbated by recent high inflation and job losses and employment reductions due to Covid. Someone who is food insecure doesn’t have the means to access enough nutritious food on a regular basis. 


For the past year, with funding from a Fairfax County Food Assistance Program grant and the help of social workers/parent liaisons from the local Reston and Herndon elementary schools and from other human service organizations, FISH has been providing food insecure families with $100 to $150 in Safeway or Giant grocery gift cards. Additionally, through our primary Emergency Assistance program, we respond to requests for rent, utilities, medical prescriptions and other critical needs bills, so that families in need don’t have to choose between food or medicines or housing. If you would like to help support our neighbors in crises, please consider donating to FISH to help us continue our vital programming. Thank you in advance for your support!

Elliot Wicks,
President, Board of Directors


Mary Saunders,
Executive Director

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Mary Saunders

Executive Director

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