Friday, April 26, 2013

Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Sharing the Joy of Costco Roasters!

It takes a certain kind of generous spirit to see within every act an opportunity to serve and help.  Such was the case for a local couple who recently helped North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank in a most unusual way.

While having a dinner of Costco rotisserie chicken, this couple so enjoyed the chicken and the prospect of another meal of leftovers that they wondered to themselves how they could share this joy with others not able to afford it. 

That's when they contacted Fishline with a unique offer.  They would donate enough money to cover the costs needed to purchase 250 Costco chickens, 200 of which would go to Fishline clients and 50 to Bainbridge Island Helpline House.  The donors asked if we could include some instructions on how to prepare healthy recipes with the chicken and also how to stretch the chicken for several meals, which Helpline House's nutritionist gladly agreed to develop.

When Costco was contacted with the idea, they too were happy to help.   But with an order this large, special provisions had to be made, from ordering extra birds to asking staff to start cooking them at 4 am so they were ready for us that day.  They made the extra effort with enthusiasm and even threw in a Costco gift card that would be won by the client who picked out the lucky chicken.

It all came together, and on one happy Wednesday, Fishline clients received 1-2 cooked chickens as a surprise treat.  They were thrilled, as many clients had never had the experience of enjoying these in the past.  A nearly festive environment resulted, and it took just 1 day to distribute all 200 chickens when clients visited the food bank.

What started as a little idea, a belief that joys should be shared, turned into a memorable experience for Fishline staff, volunteers and clients.  

Do you have a unique idea on how you can share with those in need living in our community? Contact us and we can help develop your idea and make it happen! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This Week's Most Needed Items: Volunteers!

This week is Volunteer Appreciation Week, a few days set aside to celebrate the gift of time and energy given by so many in our country and community.  Fishline could not accomplish its mission without the hundreds of hands and hearts of its volunteers, and we never take this for granted.  Each day, you are all an inspiring example for our town, selflessly devoting your enthusiasm and commitment as you keep Fishline and Second Season able to provide for its struggling neighbors.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you do, and for how elegantly you do it. ~ Mary Nader, Executive Director

Do you have time and talent to share? Join us! Our volunteer coordinator is looking to fill the following positions: 


5am driver to pick up produce from Central Market on Tuesday

8am driver to pick up from Albertson’s on Thursday

Front Market receptionist and checkout person:

Wednesday, 3pm to 7pm

Friday, 9:30am to 12:30pm, 12pm to 3pm

These people check the market customers in, and check them out, just like at a grocery store.

Please contact Jackie, our volunteer coordinator if you are able to volunteer for one of these open positions or fill out our online volunteer application here! Thank you!

We Need A Coffee Grinder!

Do you have a large coffee bean grinder that you are not using or would like to donate?  NK Fishline is in need of this very useful piece of equipment.  If you have one you are not using, please consider donating it to us.

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.

Peanut Butter
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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Message from the Director: Celebrating Our Volunteers

One of the great rewards of my job is to see the transformation that takes place at Fishline every weekday morning. While sharing stories of their lives, discussing current events or passing along tips on preparing asparagus, volunteers bring their best game, and a front market takes shape that will provide life-giving food for the line of clients building outside the door. When I give tours, it is one of the observations most often made - that so many people are working so well together with such purpose and determination.

The same kind of preparation is also happening across the street at Second Season, as volunteers sort through donations, build beautiful displays and set up the cash register with the hope for a busy, profitable day. Neighbors donate clothes and household items which we turn into a chance to help someone keep their home or keep it warm.

Aside from the regular positions like grocery pickup, sorting, stocking, receptionists and cashiers, there are many other ways volunteers help us. They assist with administrative projects, like data entry and accounting, offer skills like carpentry and information technology, they do web site design and keep our Facebook page current and contribute a myriad of other talents that help us grow and serve.

Fishline volunteers are members of our community who come from all walks of life. They are students, people between jobs, retired rocket scientists and architects, teachers and doctors, parents and grandparents, joined together by a common mission about which they are deeply passionate. They work hard, come up with new and inventive ways to better our work, and even when they aren't at Fishline, they are thinking of ways to help even more.

To accept the generosity of these gifts can be humbling. It's natural to wonder how we can repay such acts of kindness. Somehow, saying "thank you" just doesn't seem like enough. But our volunteers remind us that, though it may seem like they are working for free, they often feel like a volunteer recently expressed, "You give me so much more than I give - working here brings me great joy". Perhaps there is a satisfaction knowing that, though there are so many things out of our control, making our community a better place is one that is squarely within reach. As Margaret Mead, the noted anthropologist, once said, "Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Every April, our country celebrates this volunteer spirit with National Volunteer Week, this year April 21-27. To the hundreds of volunteers who keep our mission moving forward, and to all the members of our community who contribute to Fishline throughout the year, we salute you. Fishline couldn't exist a single day without you, but with your help, we can change our world.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

This Week's Most Needed Items: Pet Food!

Cat food (and dog food) are an important and sometimes overlooked donation that is much needed at NK Fishline.  Many people who have come upon hard times have pets that depend on them, and helping to provide for all our family members is important!  When picking up food items for donation, please be on the look out for good prices on both wet and dry cat and dog food, our furry friends appreciate it!

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 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.

We are always in need of diapers, sizes 3, 4, 5 & 6.  Please drop these off at the food bank or other collection locations listed above. 

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!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Superstar Girl Collects 100 Bags of Food for Thought Items!

When Christa Bethel asked her daughter Alexis what she wanted to do for her birthday party earlier this month, she had it all planned out: a sleepover with friends, pretty dresses, a "fancy" dinner, bubbly fruity soda drinks in fancy glasses. Pretty much every ten year old's perfect party. Except for one small twist.

Alexis, known by her closest friends and family as "A.J." had one more request: instead of gifts, could she have her guests bring items for Fishline instead?


Christa contacted Lucy Baker, the Operations Manager at Fishline and told them about A.J.'s request.   Lucy shared a "Food for Thought" items list and Christa and A.J. started to put their plan in motion.  The family shared this list with their birthday party guests. A.J. would host two parties --- the "fancy" one with her friends and another one with her family. She asked for items for collection at both parties.


At the party with her friends, classmates, and basketball teammates A.J. asked that in addition to enjoying their elegant snacks and drinks, the attendees help put together Food for Thought bags from the items she collected.


Christa and A.J. collected enough to deliver 100 bags to Fishline for Food for Thought this week!  A big happy birthday to Alexis (A.J.) Bethel for her creative thinking and generous heart!!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fishline Celebrates April's Community Partner: Liberty Bay Chiropractic Massage & Laser Center

For many years, every Monday morning at 5 am Dr. Charlie DeWilde of Liberty Bay Chiropractic Massage & Laser Center starts his week off with a very practical expression of his commitment to North Kitsap Fishline. He picks up produce items from Central Market, destined to be life-giving provisions for the client families who come to Fishline. Quietly, consistently, Dr. DeWilde has been a member of our "unsung heroes" team, those drivers who do one of the most important jobs in the house with the least amount of recognition. He has even been highlighted as one of our featured volunteers.

But when Dr. DeWilde moved his chiropractic practice to Hwy 305 last month, he came up with a creative way to help Fishline even further. Every patient who came to receive treatment or celebrate grand opening day was invited to donate to Fishline and received a discount as a result. Liberty Bay Chiropractic Massage and Laser Center welcomed over 100 visitors and patients. After a very busy day, over $2,000 was raised that could not have come at a better time for our work.

“Fishline is a great cause, and we’re happy to help,” says Dr. DeWilde. “At Liberty Bay, we’re passionate about health and wellness for all, and we’re proud to be part of this caring community. Fishline touches so many lives, and we are honored to chosen as a community partner.” Dr. Thomas Harlan, who has been in practice in Poulsbo 1979, echoed this sentiment. “Wellness is for everyone, and we are committed to caring not just for our patients, but for the community at large.”

As a member of New Life Church in Kitsap, Dr. DeWilde offered his assistance during a several-week food/fundraising drive that the Church wanted to do over the Easter holiday. That drive has brought in over 2,000 pounds of food and opportunities to partner in new and important ways to help the hungry and homeless in our community.

In addition to donating time every week to NK Fishline and annually at Gateway's Day of Hope, Dr. DeWilde has been a long time member of the Poulsbo Chamber of Commerce and is the founding chair of the Americana Music Festival. He also performs chiropractic services for children as well as adults. Dr. Thomas Harlan has been a multi-year supporter of Fishline with an annual Patient Appreciation Day, collecting thousands of pounds of food, and he donates services to local school fundraisers.

At Liberty Bay Chiropractic Massage & Laser Center they offer joint, muscle, and arthritis advanced laser light therapy, as well as posture assessments and foot orthotics. Massage therapists Sherry Stanley and Margaret Wilder provide therapeutic and relaxing treatments, and a variety of nutritional supplements and consultative services are also available at Liberty Bay. Roxy Thompson and Amber Hayghe manage reception, and Michelle Michealis coordinates billing. Beyond providing pain relief, our entire staff strives to provide the best possible customer experience, and we look at total healing for our patients, in ways that can enhance their lifestyles while improving overall well-being,” says Dr. DeWilde.

This total healing approach is reflected in the continued good deeds that the business has shared with our community. In a time when we might wonder if how a person can make a difference, we can follow the examples of Dr. Charlie DeWilde and Dr. Thomas Harlan, who teach us through example. It is with great gratitude that we select Liberty Bay Chiropractic Massage & Laser Center as April's Community Partner.

Liberty Bay Chiropractic Massage & Laser Center is located at 18657, Highway 305 in Poulsbo. You can reach them by phone at 360-779-7800, visit their webpage at and "Like" their Facebook page!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

NK Fishline Receives 2013 Food Lifeline Award for Excellence

Pictured are many (but not all!) of the volunteers and staff who participated in the Fish Bucks
design and implementation.

 The North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank & Emergency Services has been recognized by Food Lifeline with the Excellence in Client Services Award. North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank & Emergency Services was one of four agencies in Western Washington selected for awards at Food Lifeline’s Agency Conference on March 28, 2013.

The 2013 Food Lifeline Award for Excellence in Client Services, was given to us for our innovation of the Fish Bucks front market distribution system implemented last year. This award selection was made from many entries throughout Western Washington and included a financial award of $1,000.

“Food Lifeline is happy to recognize North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank & Emergency Services,” said Linda Nageotte, President & CEO of Food Lifeline. “Their approaches to meeting client needs are exemplary. In addition we truly value how they’ve made services more accessible to hungry people in the Poulsbo area.”

Ours was a project months in the making, pulling in the help from volunteers, clients, staff and consultation from other food banks. The design helped create a fair distribution of food items while helping us calibrate so there is an even flow of food that avoids shortages or overages. It has also created a grocery-store like experience appreciated by our clients.

"We are honored to be selected to receive this award", said Mary Nader, Executive Director of North Kitsap Fishline. "Our new front market has been a positive change for our clients, staff and volunteers, and we're proud of how we all worked together to create it."

North Kitsap Fishline received this award in 2010 for its Food for Thought Weekend Meal Program, the first service of its type in Kitsap at that time.