Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grace Outreach Awards Grant to Support Food for Thought and Homeless Support at NK Fishline

Special thanks to Grace Episcopal Church on Bainbridge Island for their recent grant to NK Fishline.  Grace Outreach has awarded a $2000 grant that will be divided equally between the Food for Thought Program and our Homeless Support Services.  

Grace Church supports many wonderful programs through their Outreach program, both local and international.  We are so pleased to be considered among this outstanding group of organizations. 

Thank you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

A Sad Day for the North Kitsap and Fishline Community

It is with a sad, heavy heart that we tell you about the passing of our beloved Camille Meyers.  Since we informed you last week of her turn for the worse, her aggressive form of cancer spread faster than anyone predicted.  She was admitted into Martha and Mary on Thursday, her family began to gather on the weekend and she passed away on Sunday

This is a blow for all of us.  Camille has been our Senior Volunteer, our cheerleader, our matriarch for over 30 years.  She has helped in nearly every aspect of the food bank and thrift store.  In the early days, she wore many hats because everyone did.  But her kind spirit and her love of the work drew people to her, so she coordinated volunteer activities, designed programs and took care of all of us.  Her curious nature, her desire to never stop learning and her zest for life and this mission kept her involved and relevant all the years she was with us. 

She was, of course, the manager of the thrift shop for many years.  She ran the Toy Shop for years as well, a huge project that requires coordination of many volunteers and the gathering of hundreds of toy donations.  Throughout her time with us, she worked several days a week, often during the shifts most hard to cover.  On whatever day she worked, she inspired a gentle and loyal cooperation, a sign of true leadership.  Even while she was going through cancer treatments, a typically-exhausting scenario, she found a way to come to work and stay as long as she was able.  Several days after she had part of her tongue removed, and could not speak, she showed up at work with a white board in hand so she could keep in touch with her Fishline family.

We will remember Camille forever.  Her contributions are woven into the fabric of our agency, indelible and impossible to duplicate.   

We will let you know when the celebration of her life is arranged – in the meantime, if you wish to prepare a meal for Dick and his family, please let us know and we’ll coordinate our efforts.  Condolences can be sent to: Dick Meyers, 25945 Hwy 3 NW, Poulsbo, 98370.


Friday, June 14, 2013

Bank of America Awards Grant to North Kitsap Fishline

Continuing in its tradition of assisting North Kitsap Fishline Food Bank and its programs, Bank of America recently awarded a grant for 2013 delivered on its behalf by Shelli Guzman of Merrill Lynch on Bainbridge Island.  

In the past, Bank of America has supported the Food for Thought Children’s meal program and other Fishline services.  This year, the grant will be used for direct client support as well as funding support for the new Fishline newsletter.  The Fishline Focus highlights the activities and services of Fishline, including an inspirational and behind the scenes look at volunteer activities, client stories and details about available services. 

Mary Nader, Executive Director, expressed deep thanks on behalf of Fishline.  “We are very grateful for the way Bank of America has contributed to community efforts increasing the quality of life for so many.  Thanks to BOA, many children have received crucial nutrition through the weekend through Fishline’s Food for Thought program and now many more will learn of the work we’re doing by reading about it in the Fishline Focus.”

Ms. Guzman toured the facility during her visit and was inspired by the ways this community assists its struggling residents.  Thanks to partners like Bank of America, Fishline will be able to continue these efforts for many years to come.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Messsage from the Director: A Community of Kindness

We live in a world of mixed signals at Fishline. On one hand, we watch as the Dow soars to historic levels, celebrate because jobs are more plentiful and homes are selling again. On the other hand, we sit with clients who don't seem to be included in this recovery but are instead experiencing nearly unfathomable challenges. They can be the kind of problems that send you to your knees, cause sleepless nights and require a humbling, last-resort trip up 3rd Avenue that you never thought you'd make.

We worry as we hear these stories, wondering how we will find the resources to help. We are dealing with sequestration, federal and local cutbacks and reduced donations, any of which will limit our ability to help those who need it the most. We have to squeeze out solutions where there are few to consider. We get frustrated when we see families who have nothing, who come to us simply hoping for a place to stay tonight, and the shelters are full.

Then we get a call from a mother who says her young daughter would like to have a birthday party but, instead of gifts, she wants the kids who come to bring food for Fishline's children's weekend packs. They even want to pack the bags as a part of the festivities.

Hearing of a particularly critical client situation, where an older couple may lose their house because the primary wage earner is facing cancer, a member of our community offers to pay their mortgage payments for a little while until other options are located.

A member of a boy scout troop asks what Fishline needs, and when we talk about our need for a new food delivery truck, he answers without hesitation, "OK, we'll get going on that." It doesn't occur to him to back down or shrink from the possibilities.

These are gestures not offered out of fear or anxiety. They are simply the response from loving hearts, doing their part to make things better, one life at a time.

Perhaps we are in a better place than most. We witness the beautiful balancing that life often orchestrates - where there is lack, there is often a reciprocal response. Our community answers the call, sometimes giving more than is needed because our kindness has no limit. These are our Hunger Heroes, ordinary people who in their own way are taking the future into their hands, not allowing discouragement or intimidation to change their belief that things can be better. No mixed signals here - as long as there is a need, these people will find a way to meet it.

This is perhaps our greatest hope and the test of our community mettle. If we believe that we will not be complete until we are all cared for, then that is exactly the community we will manifest. And if each of us did one thing to contribute to the solution, just one gesture that softened life's blows for another, we might be surprised and proud of the world we will create.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Fishline Celebrates June's Community Partner: The School Counselors and Volunteers of the Food for Thought Program

Food for Thought is a weekend backpack program for children who may not otherwise receive enough food when not in school.  The weekend packs are put together using monetary and food donations collected through NK Fishline and distributed through area schools that wish to participate in the program. They are assembled and delivered to the schools by our volunteers and then given out by each schools' guidance office. The weekly food packs are received at North Kitsap schools with happy hearts and gratitude. The children who participate in the Food for Thought program might not ever know the work that goes into bringing the program together, but they surely do feel the love.

Our community partners for the month of June are the many hands (and hearts!) that bring this program together every week.  As the school year comes to an end, we would like to recognize the counselors at the following schools for their dedication to the Food for Thought program:

Tahnee Bollert, Breidablik Elementary

Rick Goudzwaard, Pearson Elementary

Susan James, Poulsbo Elementary

Greg Parrott, Poulsbo Middle School

Karen Fick, North Kitsap High School

Ann Brandner, Suquamish Elementary

Carolyn Mosiman, Vinland Elementary

Shawn Adams, Chief Kitsap Academy
Their participation is not limited to the time it takes to distribute the packs on Fridays, but includes the skill and compassion it takes to identify and counsel the kids who are in need of these services all year round.


The program at Fishline is run and organized entirely by volunteers.  From purchasing the food, to creating the packs to delivering them every week, many kind and gracious helpers deserve our thanks, including:  Caroline Butler, Kathy Loveless, Stephanie Skansi, Riley Quayle and Shawn Quayle.

We also wish to thank the 20 Backpack Friends who donate money to help us purchase the products through the year by sponsoring a child or several children. 

If you would like to learn more about this heartwarming program, or know of children in need of this service during the summer or the school year, please contact us.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

This Week's Most Needed Items: Peanut Butter & Jelly (and more!)

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. 

Jelly (you need with peanut butter!) With the summer months approaching, and kids out of school -- peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are an easy meal that children can prepare for themselves.  (Note:  we cannot accept homemade jelly!)

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. 
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!  

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!