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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.

Food Baskets and Holiday Gifts

In December, FISH provides food and gifts to hundreds of people in need during the holiday season. This last December we provided gift cards totaling almost $11,000 to 218 families, made up of 894 individuals, of which 57% were children 18 and younger. This is a great opportunity for community contributions and volunteer work.

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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. By mid-Novermber, 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 Fairfax County, 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

Lynn Warner, Manager, Bargain Loft

Linda Bracewell, Bookkeeper




Board Officers

Elliot Wicks, President
Janet Hyman, Vice President
David Mandel, Vice President
Jack Gazlay, Treasurer
Peggy LeReche, Secretary

Board Directors

Robert Averne

Kathy Jones

Roy Miller

Robert Reed
Susan Sather

Grant Administrators

Mary Saunders
Renette Oklewicz

David Mandel

Board and Staff at Work

Did you know?

  • FISH is celebrating its 53rd birthday this year.

  • This is The Bargain Loft's 41st year offering affordable shopping.

  • FISH is an independent, separately funded entity.

  • 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.

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