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Volunteers, donors of F.I.S.H. make it all happen

By Staff | Apr 18, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Volunteers of all ages for F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva.

As the Southwest Florida season comes to a close, F.I.S.H. of Sanibel-Captiva says farewell to its seasonal volunteers and donors who return home for the summer months.

“We cannot thank you enough for sharing your time with us while you were here and hope you know the positive impact you made on the lives of so many of our island neighbors. We could not complete the significant work we do without your energy, enthusiasm and compassion,” President Maggi Feiner said. “Our donors and volunteers are the lifeblood of F.I.S.H. During the summer, we continue to provide our services with a skeleton crew of available volunteers and donations, and it’s not easy. We already can’t wait for your return, and we thank you for your support.”

Volunteers and donors make it all happen for island neighbors. Volunteers are drivers to appointments, both on and off island. Near and far, they pick up food products from Harry Chapin, Midwest Food Bank, Bailey’s, Jerry’s, Publix, Island Pharmacy, CVS and the Farmer’s Market. Through midday traffic, volunteers deliver nutritious meals to folks from Captiva to the east end and arrange equipment pickups seven days a week. They answer phones, stock shelves, assemble backpacks, wrap presents and more. They are a shoulder to lean on, an ear to lend and a smiling face to so many islanders.

F.I.S.H. donors not only provide financial support but also donations of products for the food pantry, backpack program, equipment and bike programs. They lend their professional backgrounds to the tutoring and workshop programs by providing in-kind services for neighbors, and their support is critical to the programs and services of F.I.S.H.

Many volunteers and donors are seasonal, leaving F.I.S.H. with a small supply of able bodies and product donations to service year-round requests.

“May through October are tough for us since many have gone home or are traveling for the summer. We lose 85 percent of our volunteer base during this time and donations, particularly of food products, decreases dramatically. The need, however, continues and in some areas increases,” Feiner said.

F.I.S.H. is always looking to recruit new volunteers. Volunteers are trained in areas of interest and placed with an experienced volunteer or staff member to help. With the help of volunteers, F.I.S.H. can continue its mission to lend a helping hand to those who live, work or visit Sanibel and Captiva.

For more on volunteering, call Walk-In Center Manager Maria Espinoza at 239-472-4775.