Much more than fashion has changed since the "Happy 1st Birthday to FISH" celebration, held a half century ago. Some changes, like Sonoma Valley's population, demographics, and economy have evolved gradually over the decades. Other changes, like the impacts of the global pandemic, seem to happen all at once.

But throughout these changing times, the spirit behind Friends in Sonoma Helping endures. The mission, vision, and values statements that we adopted in 2021 would likely have looked very appropriate to a volunteer in the 1970s. At the same time, FISH has been faced with the need to adapt on an ongoing basis, looking at new ways of providing services and shifting our focus as needed.

During the height of the pandemic in 2020, FISH continued to keep its doors and all programs open. In 2021 the need for some services decreased, as many people went back to work with stores and restaurants reopening and agricultural work resuming. FISH volunteers, many of whom sequestered at home in 2020, resumed their volunteer activities and a record number of new volunteers joined FISH this past year.

Thirty volunteers were trained and have become an integral part of our FISH services. Our new volunteers are bringing new energy and expertise to every segment of our FISH organization. And because many of these new volunteers are bilingual, FISH is better equipped to serve all our neighbors.

The greatest accomplishment of FISH through the years has been its ability to continually provide safety net services to Sonoma Valley. As in the past, in 2021 this all-volunteer
organization with its immense community support worked to meet basic needs for
our entire community.