New Logo horizcrop.png

May 2023 Newsletter

Dear FISHpeople,

It has been months of whirlwind activities, so I’ll get straight to the news. As I prepare to share all the updates, it feels more like Thanksgiving than Memorial Day. Here are just a few of reasons that we at FISH are feeling thankful:

Our Supportive Community

Dutch Bros. Coffee donated $1 for each drink sold on February 14th, which translated into a $1,100 donation to FISH – and we thank both Dutch Bros. and those who purchased a special drink on Valentine’s Day.

During the month of March, St. Andrew Presbyterian Church made FISH its mission focus and invited FISH volunteers to share information. With support from St. Andrew members Claire Jones and Kathleen Hawing, Arlene Holt, Peggy Carroll, Sherry Michael and I were able to spin a few FISH tales that resulted in a number of new volunteers and $900 of financial support.

Nugget’s Sonoma Market donated the profits from its See’s Easter candy sales to FISH in April. Those Easter eggs turned into a nest egg of $2,581 for FISH.

Bombas donated 1100 pair of socks to our Clothing Closet for distribution. This is the third donation to FISH and there are many warm toes in our valley because of Bombas.

Sonoma Valley Catalyst generously supported FISH’s request for $40,000 for the reroofing of our buildings. Thanks to Catalyst, the solar panels at FISH Central have been removed and we are scheduled for that reroofing any day now. We are delighted to remove all those plastic bins from the attic that caught the rainwater.

On April 29th, FISH was awarded $25,000 from Impact 100 for our food and rental assistance programs. Many thanks to Impact 100 and to those who participated in the grant process – Antoinette Kuhry, Arlene Holt, and Tom Haeuser.

Neighbors Helping Neighbors

The Sonoma Valley community continues to be incredibly generous to FISH. Laura Curran demonstrates this as she organizes a Neighborhood Food Project group to make regular donations to the Food Pantry. 

Laura always contacts our Food Room Manager, Marilyn Vernon, regarding needs at our pantry. Laura is then able to email all her donors with the items most needed by FISH. 

In May peanut butter was on top of the list as FISH has not been able to purchase any from Redwood Empire Food Bank for several weeks. Thank you Laura and friends for helping to keep our Food Pantry well-stocked!

Stamping Out Hunger

Our most recent reason for gratitude is the Stamp Our Hunger Food Drive sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers. Our local Letter Carriers were treated to a surprise breakfast provided by FISH before they began their routes. Throughout the day these strong and willing Letter Carriers picked up hundreds of pounds of food from our generous Valley residents. 

When the Letter Carries returned to the Broadway Post Office, they were greeted by Dee Weaver, who was the FISH liaison and chief in charge, and Marilyn, our Food Room Manager who has appointed her sister, Nancy Gardner to be her #1 Assistant. Dee had lined up numerous drivers with pickup trucks to transfer the food from the Post Office to Sherm & Louise Bielfelt’s garage for sorting. This is an enormous task for both the Letter Carriers and for the Food volunteers. Well done – the exact poundage will be reported soon.

Room to Grow!

FISH loans medical equipment that has been donated by local residents in need, including walkers, wheelchairs, shower chairs, and more. This popular program, coordinated by Anne Shapiro, has expanded beyond the capacity of our small storage shed at FISH Central. Thanks to the multi-talented Eric Muller, the shed is being expanded to allow FISH to continue to meet this growing service. To donate or request equipment, call FISH Dispatch at 707-996-0111.

Spring is a time of new beginnings, and we have several in the works at FISH, as we continue to update our services, facilities, partnerships and communication tools to better meet the needs of our community. Look for more on these changes in our June newsletter.

FISH is thankful for all the support extended to our organization so we can, in turn, support those in need in Sonoma Valley.

Enjoy the sunshine,


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
Facebook  Instagram