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May 2022 Newsletter


"Oh, They Should See Me Now. . ." 

Dear Friends of FISH,

That tune has been constantly running through my head because we have completed our 50th Anniversary project that included the new mural painted by our own Eric Muller and the new painting and signage on both the front and back of the building. Our goals were to be visually more welcoming and easier to find. Thanks to Bob Sanders, who did the painting and signage, we are more recognizable, approachable, and welcoming. Thanks to both Eric and Bob for their creativity and expertise.  

All of us at FISH are incredibly impressed with the continued generosity extended to us and to our neighbors. Read on...

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Donation from Snoopy's Home Ice


On April 23rd the FISH parking lot was quite a sight - filled with thousands of items of Snoopy apparel that FISH offered to its Clothing Room visitors. Shirley Blazevich and Dee Weaver were key players in making this happen. Initially, it was Hanna employee Leslie Peterson who had a connection with the CEO of the Snoopy’s Home Ice Arena. Leslie provided numerous items to Dee who brought them to the Clothing Room. Leslie then connected Danny, the CEO, with Clothing Room Coordinator, Shirley Blazevich. Danny issued and invitation to come and get what FISH could use.

Shirley contacted her brother-in-law, Eric Muller, to drive to the Ice Arena warehouse and fill his truck with the donated clothing. Two trips yielded 85 boxes of new clothing. The hardworking Clothing Volunteers began the task of unpacking, sorting, and removing price tags before they could be either folded or hung on hangers. Each volunteer who assisted commented on the excellent quality of materials and the fun display of Peanuts’ characters on pants, shorts, shirts, sweatshirts, socks, shoes, pajamas, and underwear.

Early on the morning of April 23rd the volunteers assembled to set up the parking lot with tables and clothing racks to display the bounty of the donations. There were infant, children, youth, teen, and adult clothing items. Those who visit the Clothing Room were invited to this special event and they were able to walk away with a bag full of new clothing for the spring and summer. It was a beautiful day in the FISH neighborhood – thanks for the generosity of our friends – Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Woodstock, and all.

Warm socks from Bombas!


FISH was also the recipient of 500 pair of socks donated by Bombas – they are the company that donates a pair of socks for every pair purchased. As I write this, I am looking down at the warmest pair of socks I own – and they are Bombas! The 500 pair included children’s, men’s, and women’s socks. In two weeks, all of the socks were distributed. Thanks to Bombas and Kay Austin who is their local representative in Sonoma, there are many warm and dry toes in Sonoma. In seven years, Bombas has donated over 50 million pars of socks and we congratulate them on their generosity.  


While on the subject of clothing... this winter FISH volunteers brought 175 jackets to SOS (Sonoma Overnight Support), hung them on racks and added scarves, hats and gloves so the homeless could select items to stay warm. This is the second year that FISH has establish a Clothes Closet Annex at the SOS dining site. FISH is proud to work with SOS to keep the homeless warm and fed. Weekly FISH also provides numerous food items to the SOS program.

Neighborhood Food Project


Based on the Neighborhood Food Project that originated in Ashland, Oregon, Sonoma’s own Laura Curran brought this simple concept of a Neighborhood Food Project to Sonoma Valley to benefit FISH. The goal of this project is to provide a steady supply of shelf-stable goods to FISH while building a sense of neighborhood community. 


Sonoma Valley Food Project provides every participant with a bag and list of items the FISH pantry needs. Laura, as neighborhood coordinator, recruits participants, picks their bags filled with food donations and leaves a second bag for the next collection. Collections happen every other month or six times per year. 


The successful project began in February of 2018 with a small group of participants and has grown significantly over the years. Each time these beautiful green bags appear in the FISH Food Panty, it feels like Christmas! 


On Saturday, April 9th FISH invited Laura and all the Neighborhood Food Project participants to deliver their contributions to FISH Central, enjoy some treats, and take a tour of the FISH Food Pantry. 


FISH appreciates all of the creativity and dedication of Laura and the generosity of those who participate in the Neighborhood Food Project.

FISH Tales

* FISH received a beautiful thank you note and large donation from a long-time supporter who needed to call FISH for rides to Napa for physical therapy. She indicated that, although she appreciated the rides, the kindness of the Drivers is what touched her heart. She wrote that the FISH Drivers were friendly, accommodating and understanding, and that inspired her generosity.

* One of our volunteers who delivers food to seniors, helped introduce the person to another FISH volunteer who was able to make a referral that seems to have significantly improve the caller’s life. FISH volunteers often cultivate personal connections that go beyond our core services. Thanks to the FISH volunteer, an isolated, angry senior has received support and services to improve the quality of her life.

Our Supportive Community

Sonoma Sisterhood:  On March 11, local female musicians performed at Murphy’s Irish Pub for International Women’s Day – and donated all their proceeds to FISH – a check for $1,000. FISH has always appreciated the power and generosity of women, who are the backbone of FISH. Thank you for brightening International Women’s Day with your music and honoring FISH at the same time.


St Andrew Presbyterian Church designated March as their focus on FISH. Each Sunday in March the congregation heard a FISH speaker talk about one of the FISH programs.

It was in 1971 when the St. Andrew minister, Hugh Goss, organized the Sonoma Valley Churches to initiate the FISH program. For all these 50 years, St. Andrew’s Congregation has been a faithful supporter. We thank them for the clothing, food, financial support, and especially for the volunteers.

At right: Sharing information about

FISH at St. Andrew's.


Recology notified FISH that they were donating a ¼ page ad in the Press Democrat. We expect it to appear in the newspaper any day.

We appreciate the support from Recology – they also donate the receptacles for recycling, garbage, and compost for the Holiday Food Basket Project. We are honored to be a recipient of their generosity.

Nugget’s Sonoma Market recently donated the proceeds of their Sees’ Easter Candy Sales to FISH. The check for $2,635.50 will be used to support our food program. We are especially thankful as the cost of many of the items we purchase has increased. 

Good news from FISH – we have not (nor do we have plans to) cut back on the food items we provide through our food programs.

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Volunteer Appreciation

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FISH is a community of those who share – a total of 110 volunteers share their time and talents to help build a stronger community. I want to salute all the brave individuals who have worked throughout this pandemic. I also want to introduce the Volunteer Class of 2021-22. In these last 16 months FISH has welcomed an accomplished group of volunteers who embody the FISH spirit. A very belated welcome to all:

Judith Alex, Dispatcher

Dave Ball, Driver

Gerry Baptista, Driver – returning to duty!

Linda Blum, Dispatcher

Patricia Bonnoitt, Driver

Mary Carver, Spanish Speaking Dispatcher, Driver

Terry Criesler, Driver

Eric Curtis, Clothing Room – takes excess items to Goodwill

James Denham, Spanish Speaking Dispatcher

Lori Dobbs, Food Room

Tucker Fish, Food Room

Joey Ghiringhelli, Food Room Dispenser

Ana Gonzales, Clothing room

Kevin Grant, Food Pick-Up

Peter Grotte, Clothing Room – takes excess items to Goodwill

Wendy Haber, Food Room Dispenser

Kathleen Hawing, Rent – Spanish Speaking

Marty Herrick, Food Pick-Up

Miren Herrschaft, Food Room

Meg Kellogg, Spanish Speaking Dispatcher

Danelle Kendall, Clothing Room

Maria Lounibos, Spanish Speaking Dispatcher

MyEsha Maheena, Special Projects

Nancy Mallonee, Assistant Financial Secretary

Sylvia Mazzi, Food Room

Claudia Mendoza, Spanish Speaking Dispatcher & Rent

Fern Menzildjian, Layettes

Chantal Mesick, Dispatcher

Carmela Mezquita, Dispatcher

Lupe Moya, Clothing Room

Laurie Nelson, Driver

Rob Pickett, Food Room

Tina Romero, Food Room Dispenser

Marcy Rose-Bilberry, Dispatcher

Claudia Scott, Dispatcher

Janet Summers, Dispatcher

Roy Tennant, Food Pick-Up, Database Coordinator

Janet Unverferth, Food Room

Deborah VanHorn, Food Room Packer

Yours in friendship,


Sandy Piotter

Our Mission Statement:

FISH of Sonoma Valley lends a helping hand to our neighbors in need

by providing critical safety net services.

P.O. Box 507, Sonoma CA 95476-0507
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