News & Updates from
 Friends In Sonoma Helping
With Your Help We Did It
Dear FISHpeople,

June and July have been an action-packed summer for our FISH organization. A very special note of appreciation to all of our volunteers who have been working for months on these organizational changes. Thanks to our participation in the Sonoma County Community Foundation's Capacity Building Cohort Program, FISH, with assistance from a consultant, completed new mission & vision statements and new bylaws. The bylaws establish a new Board of Directors to govern the organization, leaving the Steering Committee free to focus solely on programs and services.

The new FISH Board of Directors have been serving as the Finance Committee for a number of years. Our Board is experienced, competent and compassionate. More about them to follow.

A huge 50th Anniversary FISH Celebration has been postponed. I hope you saw the July 8th edition of the SUN with our logo on the front cover. As any important milestone, it is time to take stock of things and make changes. This e-newsletter is one of those changes along with some updating to our website and postings on Facebook and Instagram. In coming months you'll read about some adventurous plans for the Food Pantry, grants that allow us to increase services, profiles of our new volunteers and our FISH tales.
FISH Tales
This month's tale comes from the Clothing Room and involves a sewing machine. One of the ladies who visits the Clothing Room asked if we every received sewing machines. By chance, there were three donated sewing machines. One was provided and after a week, it was returned. The sewing machine turned out to be difficult to handle so it was replaced by one of the other donated machines. It was a perfect match!

Our Clothes Room visitor was able to establish her own business repairing clothing and sewing for others. She shared her success with our Clothing Room volunteers who began saving thread, buttons, zippers and material. A donated sewing machine became a financial lifeline for this enterprising and talented woman. FISH thanks all of our donors whose donations improve the lives of many.
Welcome to our new FISH Board Members!
Thanks to these four newly elected Board of Directors, the FISH Steering Committee can focus on services while these four focus on finances, policies and nonprofit legalities. They also select and evaluate the volunteer Executive Director - that is me - to advance the mission of FISH.

The Fabulous Four are...
Tom Haeuser, lawyer and long-time supporter of FISH and now President
Nadine Yenni FISH Treasurer
Arlene Holt, FISH Financial Secretary
Phyllis Anderson, FISH Secretary
A Busy Year for our Steering Committee
The Steering Committee donned their FISH aprons to approve the new bylaws and elect the new Board of Directors. With that completed, they reflected on the neighbors who have been recently helped by FISH.

Shirley Blazevich from the Clothing Room shared the sewing machine story noted above while Peggy Carroll told us about a ride she provided to a lady for a local dentist appointment. Upon getting the client to the appointment, Peggy learned that this dentist did not have the proper equipment to ready the tooth for the next step. Peggy got her rider back in the car and off they went to another dentist in town for the prep work. Half an hour later, Peggy returned the rider to the original dentist for the scheduled work. A quick ride turned into a 21/2 hour adventure and Peggy commented, "That is what we do at FISH."

Last month accolades were posted for Anne Shapiro's immediate response to a lady who needed medical equipment to address her post-surgical needs. Faster than a speeding bullet, Anne deliver the needed equipment. The Next Door post extolled the incredible FISH service and Anne's caring response.

Bev Koepplin was contacted by a overwrought father of two young children who was evicted from his mobile home as construction of a multi-dwelling facility was to begin. The father purchased a trailer to relocate out of the area but he did not have the funds to register it with the DMV. After some work to confirm all the details, FISH was able to assist this father. His appreciation was so genuine that it nearly brought tears to Bev's eyes.

And speaking of tears - an email from Elizabeth at Sonoma Valley Community Health Center revealed that the layettes provided by FISH regularly brings tears to the new months' eyes. While providing orientation to three new volunteers, a picture caught the attention of one of our volunteers. It was the Sonoma Valley Quilters Group holding the handmade quits they donate to FISH for the layettes. Our new volunteer noted that she both shivered and had goose bumps over the caring and kindness of the quilters.

We at FISH are delighted to have a new Board of Directors to address the administrative side of the organization so the Steering Committee can, as these examples show, be that helping had to our neighbors in Sonoma Valley.
Finding Nemo FISH
Thanks to those of you who brought up the need to better communicate the entrance for FISH Central. We've updated our website to include this map on the homepage, and are working on adding new signage!
Thanks for reading! In future e-newsletters, look for profiles of our Board members and other FISH volunteers, updates on our programs, the latest on grants and donations, and more. And if you are a social media kind of person, be sure to follow us on facebook and instagram.

This e-newsletter will be replacing the one we've been sending out by email. And will save us a lot of time in the process! But if you'd like to unsubscribe, there's a link down below.

Enjoy these summer days,
Sandy Piotter, Executive Director
P.O. Box 507, Sonoma CA 95476-0507