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F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services

Mission: F.I.S.H of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc. is a human services organization, focused for over thirty years on ‘neighbors helping neighbors’. The mission of F.I.S.H. is to lend a helping hand to those who live, work or visit here. The F.I.S.H. vision is to enrich the lives of everyone on Sanibel and Captiva Islands through an array of Food Programs, Island Based Workshops, Social Services and Helping Hands.

Results: The F.I.S.H. Walk-In Center is a designated United Way House that offers enhanced services to our clients. Several United Way agencies in Lee County work with F.I.S.H. to develop more effective, cost-efficient social service programs. The F.I.S.H. Walk-In Center also houses our Food Pantry in partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida. In 2014, F.I.S.H. impacted the lives of 1,317 households representing 1,737 individuals. 86% of our 2014 annual budget was used for client programming Seniors 386 senior households benefited from F.I.S.H. programming such as Alzheimer’s Assessment / Daily well-check calls / Daily prepared meals / Emergency financial assistance / Food pantry / “Friendly Faces” luncheon / Healthcare assistance / Hurricane preparedness / Medical/health equipment loan service / Non-emergency medical related appointment transportation / Visitation / Workshops Youth 192 children benefited from F.I.S.H. programming such as Backpack Program / Emergency financialaAssistance / Youth lunches / Youth scholarships Families 931 households benefited from F.I.S.H. programming such as 211 referral / ACCESS program assistance / Adult education assistance / Community resource referrals / Counseling / Emergency financial assistance / Employment/Unemployment Assistance / ESOL instruction / Food pantry / “Friendly Faces” luncheon / Healthcare assistance / Holiday food programs and gift assistance / Hurricane preparedness / Medical/health equipment loan service / Non-emergency medical related appointment transportation / Notary services / VITA We genuinely thank our volunteers for providing 6,598 hours of service on behalf of F.I.S.H. and our clients, and for driving 28,700 miles on behalf of F.I.S.H. and our clients.

Target demographics: those who live, work or visit Sanibel and Captiva Islands

Geographic areas served: Sanibel and Captiva islands, SWFL

Programs: non-medical transportation, food pantry, meals, medical equipment loan, youth scholarships, financial assistance, etc. Our mission is to lend a helping hand to those in need on Sanibel or Captiva who live, work or visit here. Our objective is to make a social investment in our community that assists our neighbors to live independently with dignity in their homes

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

F.I.S.H. Makes it possible for me to do shopping, go out to eat and even get from our condo to our car. I can't express the value and generosity of this organization enough. Everyone affiliated with F.I.S.H. loves Sanibel as we do. We have been coming since 1985 but I have developed MS so it is much more difficult to enjoy all that Sanibel has to offer. The walker and wheelchair are invaluable. We rent a beach wheelchair which enables me to get to "my beloved Gulf" Thanks to all!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteers for this treasure of an organization for the past 10 years. They have grown to fill many formerly unmet needs on our island communities. Their process for qualifying potential "clients" is impressive and makes donating time and funds to them a comfortable way to "invest" in helping the most challenged folks in our community.
Keep up the good work. Chip & Nancy Roach

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Client Served

Rating: 5

They have all helped my family in so many different ways and have really made our lives better with all the caring and helpfulness they have ways provided. I rate them a 6+. So many people are in need and they care about each and everyone. I love this organization.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My experience with FISH was so great. I had a bad situation and they helped me a lot. I didn't have a house to sleep in, so they helped me get an apartment and assisted with the deposit and utilities. I used their food pantry. Every day I am so happy for FISH. I now have a job and can pay my expenses. FISH was so understanding and caring. They listened to my situation without judgment, they work so hard to help others. There was one day I didn't have any place to go, with my daughter, and someone told me about FISH. I talked with their social worker and she helped me get information and food and resources and worked with me to get on my feet. My life is better now because of FISH. I hope to get more hours so I can catch, every single day when I wake up I am thankful for FISH and for the staff that helped me. My daughter now feels safe with our new apartment She tells me every day to call FISH and say thank you, thank you, thank you.

Client Served

Rating: 5

After hurricane Irma hit we found ourselves in a situation we had never been in in many ways. We had always been on the 'giving' end of charities, never on the 'receiving' end and never dreamed we would be. Being a small, relatively new tour service we have worked very hard and our business, while not booming, was growing. When Irma hit, all of the tours we had booked either had to be cancelled or were cancelled by our clients. Not only were we refunding deposits, but we lost the rest the money we would have made at the conclusion of their tour. To top it off, no tours were being booked. Even now, we are finding people are aftaid to book because they don't know the condition of the area and are choosing to go to other places.
We had no electricity for almost 2 weeks after Irma and had to throw out our intire refrigerator and freezer with no money to restock.
We had been told about F.I.S.H. by a business that I work part time at on the island. Not knowing what else to do, we took a deep breath and walked in. We were met with the most kind, genuinely concerned, non-judgmental people we could possibly ever had imagined.
After shopping the food pantry we were given some paperwork to fill out and told to make an appointment with a case worker and talk with them. When we came for our appointment we we were met with yet another kind, concerned and compassionate lady by the name of Nitza. After talking with her and finding out all of the help available to us, it felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off of our shoulders.
It's hard to know how to say thank you, because words seem so insufficient.
Thank you to all of the workers and volunteers who truly do make a difference in people's lives. You are a Godsend and a true blessing.

Client Served

Rating: 5

For as long as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a nurse. I guess life just got in the way, until now. With the help of F.I.S.H. Adult Education Program, I am now a Florida State Certified Nursing Assistant!”. I knew I wanted to return to school, but didn’t think it was attainable from a life/work balance and financial standpoint, in talking with Nitza Lopez, F.I.S.H. social worker, she made me feel that everything was possible, and helped guide me through the application and state funding process.
F.I.S.H was so supportive during this process, and gave me the clarity I needed to believe in myself and to better my life. I can’t thank F.I.S.H. enough for their support and assistance.
To have an organization like F.I.S.H. in the community is amazing. They really make you feel like you can do anything, like you belong, and like you are part of a family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I really appreciate the help FISH has given to me. After this month it was hard, I have 5 kids, and just had a baby, so I couldn't work for a while. When I come here to ask to help, and they were so nice to help me, and I really appreciate it. I use the Food Pantry, and FISH reached out to the community, and gave me referrals to help with my other needs. FISH helped with Hurricane Relief too. They are wonderful

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with F.I.S.H. for 15 years. Over the years I have delivered meals and equipment, driven islanders to medical appointments and assisted with their Hurricane Committee. My most memorable times have been meeting new "neighbors" hearing their life stories and learning more of the history of our wonderful island. I have learned that I receive much more than I give. I feel I have worked with others who were long time volunteers for F.I.S.H. and now are the recipient of many services. I am proud and honored to be a part of such a vital and much needed organization and look forward to working with our islanders for years to come.

Previous Stories
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Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been supporters of F.I.S.H. for over 10 years. We are amazed at the amount of good work they have accomplished over the years meeting the needs of all islanders. We believe the staff, board and volunteers to be efficient, effective and good stewards of their funds. The programs and services offered continue to meet the needs of our comunity.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've worked as a volunteer for many non-profits and FISH far and away is the best run of all. The staff are truly community and client centered, treating all with warmth and respect. The range of services to the community is broad, from a well stocked food pantry, to providing medical equipment, rides, and meals to those in need, plus workshops on useful topics like budgeting, resumes, and nutrition. FISH has a small, but compassionate and expert staff, supplemented by many dedicated volunteers. I encourage everyone to donate to this outstanding community based organization and to volunteer if you are local.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

FISH of SanCap provides much needed assistance to people who live and/or work on the islands.

As a FISH volunteer, I witness the great need people have for the Food Pantry, children's back pack program (food for children for the weekend), medical transportation and/or equipment provided, classes and seminars that address needs, utility and rent assistance, etc.

People are thoroughly vetted to verify need. There is no other agency fulfilling these needs for our own community/on island.

Thank you FISH and your compassionate and dedicated staff!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Several years ago I decided to get heavily involved with one of the non profit organizations in Sanibel Florida. I had retired and had the time and the desire to help wherever I felt I could contribute the most. In Sanibel there are 7 major non-profits that I considered. I selected F.I.S.H. because of its focus on Sanibel and Captiva and the vast array of programs and services that it provides. I worked for over a year on Strategic Planning and Logo Enhancement and had a chance to work with the staff and board of Directors and Officers. Several years ago I was invited to join the Board of Directors and I gladly accepted. It's a great non-profit with approximately 92% of all funds raised going directly to services.

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

When I first became aware of FISH I thought it was a food pantry. It sounded like a worthwhile organization so I decided to raise money for them by giving a series of rock and roll and country concerts each year. I needed more detailed information for the promotion of the concerts and was astounded when I discovered that FISH, in addition to the pantry, has over 40 additional Food Programs, Services and Workshops. It is a wonderful organization focused on Sanibel and Captiva. It really is Neighbors Helping Neighbors....chris coile

Comments ( 1 )

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maggiegoldsmith 10/18/2016

Thank you Chris!

Board Member

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers go above and beyond to help our neighbors' lives better!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I live on a small island. FISH is our only comprehensive social service agency. FISH is all things to everyone who lives, works and visits here. We are neighbors helping neighbors in every way - from food pantry to meals on wheels to backpacks for kids who need food away from school, and much much more. I am proud to be associated with such a fine agency.

Previous Stories
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Board Member

Rating: 5

FISH is for everyone! I became involved because I saw many needs on our island which FISH addresses, from food pantry to education to meals on wheels. The staff does a wonderful job of ensuring that 94% of all funds raised go into our programs and services.

Comments ( 1 )

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maggiegoldsmith 10/17/2016

Thank you Sheridan for your review!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been fighting cancer on and off for the past 3 years,FISH and Jessi have been there for me. From assisting with bills, filling out paperwork or a friendly ear, Jessi at FISH is your girl. I am so grateful for this program for without FISH and Jessi, I'm not sure where I would be. Thank you Jessi and FISH!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I first moved to the islands from the Midwest, I had always heard about FISH in our local newspapers and always believed them to be an agency helping the elderly i.e. giving rides to doctor's appointments, providing temporary medical equipment, hot lunches, etc.. Boy, was I wrong! I learned first hand that FISH is a helping agency for everyone who lives in our community from the elderly, to single parents ,or to anyone who finds themselves in dire circumstances.

I became one of the later when I suddenly lost my job of eighteen years. I had a home here on the island, a high powered successful career, no family, and nearing retirement. When I found myself at the grocery on the weekend and not enough money to even buy a jar of peanut butter I knew I was in desperate trouble. A friend working there immediately contacted FISH. FISH instantly fronted me with $50.00 of grocery money and arranged for me to meet with them that very Monday. No waiting weeks to get an appointment. It was then I learned the true life sustaining purpose of FISH.

Between FISH and the bank I was able to get a mortgage modification to keep my home. FISH gave me generous access to their complete food pantry, covered medical issues I was having, and provided the funds to cover my immediate living expenses until I was able to get back on my feet. They also assisted me with needed counseling, a free computer, and help with job searches. They invited me to attend their enlightening seminars on stress, proper diet, personal safety, and budgeting, and offered free income tax processing. Unbelievable but true - they also provided me holiday meals when I hadn't the funds to splurge.

I learned first hand what FISH is. They are a wonderful helping agency that assists people in a multitude of ways. They don't just help with one thing or another. And they continue to help until you're back on your feet and whole again. I know I wouldn't have made it without them in my life. I will never forget all the help they gave me in my very darkest times. God bless FISH and all of its wonderful volunteers!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

FISH have been exceptionally helpful to me at various times and in various instances. Whether it has been making their food pantry available to me or assisting me with much-needed dental work or with other medical issues, they have always - without exception! - been both highly helpful, personable and professional. From the volunteers to the staff members themselves, they have always not only done what is expected of them, but they have consistently demonstrated a genuine desire to be helpful. I cannot say enough good things about them!

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Client Served

Rating: 5

I really don't know what I would have done if FISH had not extended a helping and loving hand to me in my deepest and darkest hour. My husband became unexpectedly and critically ill in 2015, and was hospitalized twice for extended periods of time with a prognosis that was not promising. During his two hospitalizations combined with inpatient rehabilitation he was unable to work, and although we had saved for emergencies and he had medical insurance it was not enough to cover all of our expenses, and we fell behind on many of our financial responsibilities. After extended hospital stays and his inability to return to work, we depleted our savings, and I truly became desperate. It was then that someone suggested I contact FISH. We have been long time Sanibel residents and through the years had lovingly given our time, talents and resources to the Sanibel community. We had always given, but had never been on the receiving end, and it is a place I never wanted to be, but circumstances in your life can change in an instant. How BLESSED we were that FISH was there for us, to provide us a financial reprieve that allowed me to get caught up with our finances. Our lives have been forever changed by my husband's illness, and during our crisis, FISH gave us hope, gave us encouragement and the support necessary to get back on our feet. I am forever grateful and will never forget how deeply and tenderly they have touched our lives.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Words truly can't express how thankfulful I am for Jessi and everyone at F.I.S.H. I recently found myself in a dire financial situation due to unforeseen circumstances. As a divorced parent, living on a very strict budget it didn't take long before I was overwhelmed with disconnection notices.

F.I.S.H. went above and beyond to help me get caught up on both my rent and electric. They assisted me with groceries from their food pantry and Jessi even helped me create a new budget to get back on track.

They have all been a godsend and I will remain filled with gratitude for their kind support.

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Client Served

Rating: 5

F.I.S.H of Sanibel has been very kind and helpful in my time of need . I am a single mother who has done very well with my beautiful daughter . However on occasion life has got difficult . Always moving in the right direction but sometime needing a little lift. They have always been kind and informative in their help. It's never something I want to admit but I can not always make ends meet . They let me know I am doing the right thing and just keep fighting. Sometimes with things as simple as a bit of help with keeping food on the table . Other times a little more with finances . I very much appreciate that there is someone who does actully care for me and my daughter .

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

F.I.S.H of Sanibel-Captiva, Inc. has helped my family over the years with paying our rent and utilities in the months when we did not have the money to pay either. I am a single parent with 2 children and a full time job and still have trouble making ends meet.

I cannot thank them enough not only for the financial help but the kindness of the staff.