Save the Date: April 18, FISH GALA
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.
Someone We Helped
Alexander, a man in his early twenties, unexpectedly had to take custody of his sister’s three young children, all under eight years of age. Along with three other agencies, FISH provided partial payment of the rent so that Alex and his nieces and nephew could stay together.
Helping at the Holidays
FISH’s primary mission is to provide emergency financial assistance to help people meet short-term financial crises, such as aiding with rent payments to prevent evictions and helping to pay utility bills to avoid shut-offs. But every year at Christmas time, we take on another major project – providing gifts of food and toys to low-income families. This is a major effort that helps to make the holiday season a bit happier for needy families in the Herndon and Reston area. In addition, our holiday program reinforces our main mission because providing toys and food for the holidays relieves our client families of a financial burden and thus helps avoid financial crises.
This last holiday season we helped 231 families. They are invited to participate as a result of referrals that we received from schools and nonprofits. 165 families received both toys and food, with gifts going to 301 children up to age 11 and gift cards going to 108 teenagers. The gifts for kids range anywhere from bicycles to books to stuffed animals to more traditional toys. Other families received bags of food. (Click here for photos.)
FISH could not carry out this effort without the support of the community. The food that we give away is provided by collections made by Boy Scout troops and schools as well as donations from businesses. The funding for the toys came from 23 businesses, service clubs, nonprofits, individuals, and FISH.
In addition, members of the community contribute their time to help set up and distribute the food and toys that we give away. In total, 45 volunteers participated in the preparation for and operation of the event. In all, the time spent by volunteers and FISH coordinators totaled almost 370 hours. Also helping to make the event a success were the pastors and staff of the United Christian Parish and social workers from the various elementary schools and non-profits in Herndon and Reston who supported our efforts.
We were pleased to get some notes of thanks written by elementary school students from one of the schools we helped. Here is a sampling of what we received:
"Dear FISH: Thank you so much for the donations to our school over the holidays. The gifts that you sent to our families were amazing. You made the holidays very special for a lot of the families at [our school]. Your generosity is very appreciated by many. Hope you have a great year!"
"You are the Best Fish in the world. Thank you so much for donations to our school over the holidays. Thank you.”
"Dear Fish. Thank you so much for the donation to our school. Thank you so much. You guys are super nice!"
It is nice to be appreciated, and we are pleased to be able to help families during the holidays..
Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc.