Friday, March 29, 2013

Get Outside and Have a Food Drive!

As the weather gets nicer, many groups and businesses hold food drives during this time of the year! It's always a good time to support NK Fishline, but during the spring -- it's especially fun to get out, enjoy the sunshine, and do some good in the community.  

If you plan to hold a food drive, let us know!! We would love to add you to our events and food drive calendar and help promote your event on our Facebook page.  

Here are some answers to some frequently asked questions:  

What items are most needed by Fishline?

Canned goods, boxed meals, peanut butter, spaghetti sauce are all popular and needed provisions for our clients. Click here to visit our Facebook page and see a list of our most needed items.  

But we also accept fresh fruits and vegetables, so if you have an abundance of zucchini or apples from your garden, bring them to us - we’d love to offer them to our clients.

If you would like a bookmark-sized list you can hand out to neighbors in preparation for the food drive, email and we’ll send it to you.

What items cannot be accepted by Fishline?

We are not allowed to accept anything that has been opened. As well, we cannot take home-made items. But if food items are recently expired, we still may be able to accept and distribute them depending on the type of food, so go ahead and include them and we’ll dispose of them if they can’t be used.

Should we let Fishline know of the drive before it happens?

This is not a requirement, but YES, it would be awesome to know! We are always glad to know of these events in advance, because we want to collaborate with you in assuring its success. 

Here are some of the ways we can help:
  • Assist you in planning based on our experience over the years 
  • Provide printed materials for your use, including our logo, banners and signs
  • Advertise your event on our web site, social media, and events calendar
  • Provide barrels for your use 
  • Arrange pickup of the food if you can’t deliver it.
Often, food drives are meant to encourage general donations of non-perishables. But don’t feel limited by this—you can try different ways of gathering donations that help specific groups of people. 

Here are a few examples: 
  • Hold a drive to collect items needed for our Food for Thought program (click here for shopping list of  Food for Thought items
  • Pet food/treats drive 
  • Packs of individually wrapped items that can be distributed to homeless clients. 
  • Toiletries and other essentials needed for families living in shelters.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This Week's Most Needed Items: CAMPING Gear!

Do you have gently used camping gear that you are no longer using? Are you updating your old gear to buy new gear?  We are in need of tents, sleeping bags, and any other camping gear that you can provide! We have many homeless in our area that depend on these items to stay warm and sleep well.  Please contact Shannon, with Fishline's Housing Solutions, if you have any of these items available!

Bottled water can be donated at Albertson's in Poulsbo, Red Apple, or Central Market.  Large multi-bottle packages can also be dropped off directly at the food bank.  

While we focus on canned and non-perishable good for food drives and other collections around the community, we also accept fresh produce at the food bank.  We have a shortage of fresh items this time of year for lettuce, broccoli, and other greens.  We also accept fresh fruit and other vegetables.  Donations of these items can be dropped of at the food bank between 8am and 3:30pm on Mon, Tues, Thurs, and Friday and as late as 7pm on Wednesdays.  

Peanut butter is an easy and delicious way to add protein to your diet.  For those who are homeless or children in need, it is also a very convenient meal option. 

Canned Chili can provide a round meal option for our clients.  This item can be donated at any food drives or collection bins at Albertson's, Central Market, Red Apple Grocery Store, or Starbucks in Poulsbo.   

Monday, March 18, 2013

Message from the Director: Helping People in Need Find Their Greatness

When a local resident comes to Fishline for help, it is often after many months of worry. Like perhaps we might be if we faced hard times, the strong, self-reliant part of our nature insists that we can handle our troubles. It can be embarrassing to admit we can't handle them alone.

But some life situations are so persistent, so hard to resolve that we reach an impasse. That's when it takes all the courage one can muster to travel up Third Avenue and enter a world you never thought you would. But it is then that you realize that the hardest part is walking through the door - it becomes so much easier after that. Fishline professionals and volunteers are highly skilled in welcoming troubled visitors with caring and non-judgmental hearts.

We recognize the fragile nature of these first-time visitors, and we treat them with the respect and admiration they are due. We listen, we encourage and then we go about building a plan. Stabilization includes food, housing and other essentials, so we start there. This sometimes is enough until something changes in the difficult situation and things improve. A job comes through or a potential roommate is found. Or health gets better and work hours increase. When life gets back on course, these grateful neighbors often turn out to be the donors of the future.

This is the best-case outcome and the reason why Fishline is here. But there are some of our clients who, for various reasons, are not recovering from their crisis quickly. Perhaps the work they were doing is no longer available, requiring a career reorientation or retraining. Maybe they are working but have not learned to budget, and their money often doesn't make it to the end of the month. Perhaps depression and discouragement have taken hold, and confidence in working toward a better future is lost. These are scenarios that don't bode well for self-sufficiency unless they are addressed with a more systemic approach.

Because we have relationships with folks in a way not shared by many in our community, it affords us an opportunity to bring about real and lasting change in a direction of personal prosperity. So we are hoping to offer education and counseling needed to break the cycle of poverty. We want to provide seminars on topics such as budgeting, tips on downsizing, job location and nutrition. We'll work with our community partners to gather their expertise and wisdom and make it available for our clients. Fishline has relationships with mental health professionals and family counselors, and we wish to further cultivate these options for our clients.

By taking our services in this direction, we offer the "hand-up" approach that helps our clients find the tools they need to contribute to our community and gain the self respect that comes as a result. We all deserve a chance to find our greatness.

Reach us at to learn more about this opportunity to teach or learn.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Fishline Celebrates March's Community Partner: Blue Heron Jewelry

For the second Christmas in a row, Blue Heron Jewelry has organized a fundraiser for Fishline that has been an extraordinary success. By offering their customers a coupon for a significant percentage off their purchase price, Blue Heron donates that reduction to Fishline. In this way, customers receive a great deal and donate to a great cause at the same time. It is an elegant, innovative holiday tradition for which Fishline is very grateful. A total of almost $6,000 has been raised between the two campaigns, an amazing gift that comes at the perfect time to help many families during the winter months. 

Throughout the year, Blue Heron and its owner, Leo Fried, also assists us by analyzing jewelry that is donated to our thrift shop, Second Season, to determine its value and assure we sell the pieces for what they are worth. This is a service that helps us raise money all year, something we could not do without their expertise.

Blue Heron is a friend to Fishline and its clients, expressing its support in many ways over the years. It is with our gratitude that we select this fine merchant as our Community Partner of the Month for March.

Blue Heron Jewelry Located on Front Street in the heart of Historic Downtown Poulsbo, between Sluy's Bakery and Jensen Way NE.  Please visit and "like" their Facebook page!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Shiny NEW Parking at Second Season Thrift Store!

If you have tried to shop in Downtown Poulsbo in the last few weeks, you were likely greeted with big signs and arrows redirecting you somewhere else! There was some serious work being done to the parking lot! The changes have been tedious, but well worth the wait! Jan Henson, from Second Season Thrift Store took the pictures above of the different stages of construction. 

We are so happy that the parking lot is done -- but we are especially thrilled about the improvements made to the area directly in front of Second Season Thrift Store:  a designated LOADING & UNLOADING area for deliveries and donations!! This area is much needed and will helps to improve things for our customers, volunteers, and those who graciously donate their items for resale!  This Saturday, March 9th we will have a special 50% off everything* sale to celebrate the new parking lot!

Many thanks to the Mayor, the City Council, and the City Planners for making this change!

*Sale does not include jewelry or special furniture items.

Monday, March 4, 2013

This Week's Most Needed Items

Do you use a shopping list?  For many people, this is considered the best way to stay organized, save money, and most importantly:  not forget anything! 

For Fishline clients, the luxury of a shopping list is not always possible.  Some clients struggle to make their monthly, weekly, and even daily needs.  We are happy to be available to help with our Daily Market and Eboxes, just two of the food services that we offer. 

When you are making your shopping list this week -- we hope you will remember Fishline, and add a few of our most needed items to your list!

Canned fruit is a great option for our clients, all throughout the year.  Collection bins for NK Fishline at Albertsons, Central Market, Red Apple, and Starbucks.  Please consider picking up some cans of canned fruit and dropping it off at these locations.

Canned Chili can provide a round meal option for our clients.  This item can be donated at any food drives or collection bins at Albertson's, Central Market, Red Apple Grocery Store, or Starbucks in Poulsbo.   

Bottled water can be donated at any of the above locations.  Large multi-bottle packages can also be dropped off directly at the food bank.  We also recycle and collect empty water bottles.  These can also be dropped off at the food bank.  

Diapers (Sizes 3, 4, 5 & 6) There is always a need for baby/toddler sized diapers 3, 4, 5, and 6. These can be dropped off at the food bank, Albertson's, Red Apple, or Central Market!