I joined the board of FISH through a friend who thought my past board experience could be useful to the organization and I will admit I did not know much about the organization. It took me a very short time to realize the scope of the work and the huge demand on the very small staff.
I am so proud of FISH and the service they provide to our community. The fact that 98% of the work is completed by proud "volunteer's" many who have dedicated their time for years really says it all. Once you have witnessed the need and how kind and generous our volunteers help these individuals you will never doubt the value of FISH.
Feel free to go to our website and learn more about this powerful community resource.
I have worked with several non-profits in the Pierce County area but becoming involved with FISH Food Banks of Pierce County has been a great learning experience. The work they accomplish with less than 5 paid employees is remarkable. FISH has developed and supported a large volunteer base that is committed to the mission of feeding people with dignity. The volunteers carry out their task with great pride and are as reliable as any paid staff. I am very proud of their accomplishments and commitment.
As a Board Members of FISH Food Banks of Pierce County, my task is to see that FISH is the very best steward of any and all resources passing through our organization that are being made available to serve those seeking food bank assistance. The need is great and seemingly endless, but the consequences of poor nutrition can be severe. For infants and children, the damage can be irreversible.
In a time when everyone is having to make do with less, the leadership and volunteers at FISH food bank are not only stretching every dollar in an effort to make sure that the over 500,000 individuals its serves receive the food they need, but also continuing to advocate on behalf of those struggling to put food on the table here in Pierce County and throughout Washington state. This organization truly understands what it means to serve. I would encourage everyone to find out more about FISH and the impact it has on our local communities.
I started volunteering at the SE FISH Food Bank in mid 2012 with a group of managers from work. I have done volunteering all up and down the west Coast from CA to NV to OR to WA , but I was most impressed by the compassion, respect and pride the FISH Volunteers demonstrate when serving their clients and was awestruck by the appreciation and gratitude demonstrated by the Food Bank Coordinator, Jim. From the moment our group walked in we were welcomed. The intake process is easy and there are plenty of other volunteers on-hand to "show you the ropes". Enabling the clients to use the grocery store format to select their own goods empowers the recipients. The volunteers get to engage and interact with the people being served and it's such a rewarding way to spend 2 hours on a Wednesday afternoon. However, the volunteer opportunities don't end there. Several of my Banking Center managers have set up early volunteer times that allow their whole teams to sort and re-pack food in preparation for distribution times. Jim takes a great team photo at the end of the shift and the participants have proudly displayed their photos on their break room walls. In December of 2012 I was asked to deliver a Grant Check to FISH from Bank of America and purely by chance I presented the check to Executive Director Beth Elliot during a meeting of the Board of Directors. When I overheard that there was a vacancy on the board I applied and was accepted to a two year term. Yet another volunteer opportunity was almost immediately presented to me: coordinating a team of 12 Bank of America Volunteers to help with the 2013 Annual FISH Food Bank FriendRaiser (next FriendRaiser is April 19, 2014 at the McGavick Center in Lakewood). Our volunteers checked in attendees, helped with seating, sold raffle tickets and helped with the auction. It was a rewarding Saturday evening for my teammates from Pierce and Thurston County and they loved the opportunity to volunteer in such a different and fun way. Providing food for individuals in need with compassion, dignity and respect isn’t just a saying at FISH Food Banks – it’s a culture that is carefully cultivated and maintained through the energy, dedication, passion and commitment of volunteers. Please consider becoming involved in this worthy cause – whether it’s by donating food or money or time – your efforts will make a HUGE difference in the lives of the clients and you’d be surprised how much difference spending time volunteering will make in YOUR life as well.
It is such an honor to serve on a board of such an impactful organization. Our mission of serving those in need with compassion, dignity & respect is what we do throughout the organization. The model of letting our clients actually shop & select the food they would like for their families does so much for the self esteem of our clients. It is so fulfilling to give people a hand up with this basic need in our community.