FISH Raises $100K at Luncheon; Prepares for Holiday Rush
Diapers (particularly for toddlers)
Personal Care Items (shampoo, toothpaste/toothbrushes, deodorant)
Clients of Broomfield FISH shared stories of how the nonprofit has changed their lives — keeping the electricity on at their homes, teaching them how to budget, and helping fund licenses and certifications and feeding their families.
Destiny Clinefelter, now a mother of four, learned about FISH in 2013 when she had nowhere to turn. She and her then-three young children returned to their apartment one afternoon to find the lights turned off — Clinefelter, who was working two jobs at the time, had been juggling payments and was $284 behind. She had only $1.50 in her checking account, she said, and no way to feed her children dinner.
After a quick cry, she called Broomfield Health and Human Services, which referred her to FISH. That evening, she got help with her bill and went home with bags of food and an appointment to get more the following month.
“I had to get my life back on track, and they helped me,” she said.
Clinefelter, who now has two degrees and works as a store manager at Sprouts Farmers Market, said she came to this year’s Harvest of Hope Luncheon with two things — her family and her checkbook.
She invited those who came to the Omni Interlocken Hotel to think of other families whose “lights are turning off as we speak.”
Broomfield FISH raised approximately $100,000 Thursday at its luncheon, which highlighted the volunteers and donors who helped FISH distribute 705,132 pounds of food in 2017. FISH served 5,859 unduplicated clients last year — a 1,649 increase over 2016.
Last year the organization recorded about 22,000 hours of volunteer hours, which averages to more than 60 hours a day.
In June, FISH became a member of the Family Resource Center Association.
“As a Family Resource Center, our job has gotten more complex and has a lot more hope behind it,” Scott said. “Our job is not to look at a problem and solve it. Our job is to look at people as people. Our job is too look at how do we support people, how do we provideopportunities, how do we provide resources, how do we provide connections, and how are we helping whole families.”
Last week had been proclaimed as “Hunger and Homelessness Awareness and Action Week” by Broomfield City Council.
The action week is an annual program to bring people together across the country to draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness.
Other Broomfield initiatives, including Meals-on-Wheels and SHARE Colorado United Methodist Church, are committed to building well-being by connecting residents to available services, implementing public policy initiatives, and encouraging all Coloradans to learn more, speak up and lend a hand so that Broomfield can be a community where everyone has a safe place to call home and enough food to eat.
More than half of the people FISH serve are children, senior citizens or disabled and 92 cents of every dollar goes directly to clients.
In 2017, the average household income for FISH clients was 73 percent of the federal poverty level, or $1,295 per month, according to nonprofit data.
Most families reported spending more than 70 percent of their incomes on shelter, leaving little for other expenses such as child care, food and utilities.
FISH meets provides food, emergency housing, utility and transportation assistance and makes referrals to more than 30 partner organizations.
The organization does not put together turkey boxes for the holidays, but is collecting “holiday kits” — either filled with snacks, baking supplies, personal care and hot chocolate supplies.
FISH is holding “Operation End Holiday Hunger” by collecting food, specifically boxed potatoes and gravy mix, baking mix and cooking oil, soup and broth, canned meat and tuna and juice.
From 9 to 11 a.m. Dec. 1, people can bring their donations, or holiday kits, to an open house at 6 Garden Center and tour the facility.
Jennifer Rios: 303-473-1361, email@example.com or Twitter.com/Jennifer_Rios