Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc., is a nonsectarian, non-profit 501(c)(3) organization providing Friendly Instant Sympathetic Help to Herndon and Reston residents in short-term financial crises. Work is performed by a small staff and many talented, enthusiastic volunteers. As a member of the Connections for Hope Partnership, FISH works closely with social workers from Fairfax County, local hospitals, and other non-profit organizations.
How We Help

Addressing Financial Crises

Every year, FISH helps thousands of predominantly very low-income families and individuals in all demographic categories by providing assistance in paying for rent, utilities, medical items and prescriptions, household items, and other short-term emergency needs.

We help to keep people in their homes by helping pay for utilities and ensuring that they have necessary medicine when they get hurt or sick.


Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

From May through November, FISH supports healthy nutrition by matching SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) benefits at the Herndon Farmers’ Market.  Matching funds enable clients to purchase twice as much fresh produce.

Food Baskets and Holiday Gifts

In December, FISH provides food and gifts to hundreds of people in need during the holiday season. In 2018 more than 1,200 people benefited.  This is a great opportunity for community contributions and volunteer work.

Bargain Loft

FISH manages and operates the Bargain Loft – a thrift store providing affordable shopping to the community.  Net store proceeds are used to support FISH assistance programs. Immediately after Thanksgiving, the Bargain Loft is transformed into a Holiday Shop with festive decor and unique gifts.

Financial Literacy Training

Everyone we assist is encouraged to get Financial Literacy Training on basic budgeting and money management.  We no longer offer in-person classes, but we encourage those we assist to take advantage of on-line classes that we have identified.


We are supported by grants from various business and organizations and from individual and corporate donations. For a detailed picture of how FISH is financed and the purposes to which we put those funds, click HERE.

FISH Staff

Mary Saunders, Executive Director

Lilia Jiménez-Siuhengalu, Emergency Assistance    Manager

Wendy Monroy and Barbara Williams,

   Co-managers, Bargain Loft

Linda Bracewell, Bookkeeper


Board Officers

Robert Reed, President
Janet Hyman, Vice President
Mary Jo Baedecker, Vice President
Jack Gazlay, Treasurer
Karen Stevens, Secretary



Board Directors

Marilyn Hahn

Kathy Jones

Peggy LeReche

David Mandel

Raymond Miller
Susan Sather

Elliot Wicks

Grant Administrators

Mary Saunders
Renette Oklewicz

David Mandel

Raymond Miller





Did you know?

  • FISH is celebrating its 51st birthday this year.

  • FISH is an independent, separately funded entity, not related to Cornerstones.

  • FISH works cooperatively with other agencies, like Cornerstones, to serve low-income individuals and families in Herndon and Reston.

  • FISH depends primarily on volunteers—more than 500 in total who provide more than18,000 hours of their time.

Board and Staff at Work