Herndon-Reston FISH, Inc

In This Issue
President's Report
Assistance Program
Food Baskets
Ways to Help FISH
Volunteer Spotlight
Thanks to our Supporters
The People We Help
Are you Ready to be Spooked
Bargain Loft
Dates to Remember

President's Report 


Life as President of Herndon-Reston FISH is certainly never dull. There are so many things going on at all times that my juggling skills are evolving past my wildest imagination. Since the Annual Meeting in July, a great deal of preliminary work is happening in preparation for the Holiday Basket Program and the 10th Anniversary Fling Gala. Transitioning to an electronic method of making Dominion Electric assistance pledges and working on a new brochure, while finding new storage space are other current tasks. 

Christine Poward, our Executive Director, tendered her resignation last week and we wish her well in her new endeavors. The Personnel Committee is working on the transition to an interim Executive Director. We expect to have more information on this in the very near future.  

I am looking forward to working at the Bradley Farms Haunted House on Saturday, October 25th. This event is great fun for all ages and the proceeds ($8,000 last year) go to FISH. On November 28th, FISH will be marching in the Reston Holiday Parade with a Brass Band playing holiday tunes. I encourage you to come and join in the fun. 

While you have your calendars out make certain to circle March 14, 2015 for the 10th Anniversary FISH Fling Gala which will be at the Dulles Hyatt. Early Bird ticket pricing of $85 is in effect only until November 20th.    

In September, I spent two weeks in Las Vegas welcoming my tenth grandchild, Isabella and helping out with her big brother. This was a delightful diversion from my psychotherapy work and FISH business.


Janet Hyman  


FISH Assistance Program


The FISH Assistance Program is overseen by Judy Duncan (seated above) and volunteers Diane Mandel (left) and Kay Walters (right) plus 27 additional volunteers who answer the Help Line. We receive 100 calls a day and 60% of the requests for assistance are made by Fairfax County social workers, hospitals, and other non-profit organizations. Callers who reside in Reston or Herndon are asked to provide details about their family or household and an assessment is made whether the request is suitable for FISH to fund or if it is best to refer the request to another agency or non-profit group.


The information and referral service part of the FISH Assistance Program is funded by a grant from Fairfax County to maintain comprehensive resource and client data bases and to facilitate referrals to other non-profits, organizations and public and private agencies as appropriate. FISH provides short-term assistance to callers who are facing an immediate crisis due to lay-offs, sickness or other emergency situations. For cases that are funded by FISH, the assistance provided to families comes from donations, grants, and fundraising activities. FISH makes payments for rent, utilities, prescription medications, and gasoline usually within 24 hours of the request. Payments are made directly to the landlord, utility company, pharmacy, or appropriate venue rather than to the individual. Last year, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, FISH provided about $358,000 in assistance with 90% of this for rent and utilities.


In addition to handling assistance requests, the Help Line assists low-income clients in receiving free or low cost medications, coordinates rides to medical appointments, and accepts holiday basket requests for Thanksgiving and Christmas. The goal of FISH is to help families and individuals in crisis situations to overcome short-term emergencies and to develop tools to prevent ongoing dependence. To that end, FISH conducts free monthly financial workshops to help mentor our clients or other interested individuals in financial planning and budgeting for greater self-sufficiency.


Holiday Food Baskets


Again this year FISH will be providing holiday food baskets for our neighbors in need. Last year we helped 770 families with gifts for 390 children and teens. The Thanksgiving operation is beginning now with lots of opportunities:



  • Non-perishable food items such as tuna, peanut butter, pasta, rice, canned fruit, tomato sauce, soup, dry cereals, canned stew. Food can be left at the Bargain Loft at 336 Victory Drive, Herndon, VA 20170.
  • Money to help buy $25 grocery store gift certificates for each box. Checks can be made out to Herndon-Reston FISH and noted on check for "Thanksgiving Baskets" and mailed to the address above.


  • November 1 - Help run a food drive! Volunteers are needed to collect, sort & pack cans at the following locations: Giant at Fox Mill, Giant at Franklin Farm, and
    Giant at North Point
  • November 17, 18, 19, and 20 - Package Assembly! Help sort and pack donation boxes for our local families in need at United Christian Parrish Church, 11508 North Shore Drive, Reston, VA20190.
    (Great job for teens looking for community service hours!)

For more information contact Mia Merin at 571-426-1369 or mialwv@gmail.com


Adults register at www.SignUpGenius.com/go/9040D4DAC0-herndon2/7298536 


Teens register at www.SignUpGenius.com/go/9040D4DAC0-20141/7298536 


Ways to Help FISH


To make a donation to FISH, mail a check to Herndon-Reston FISH, 336 Victory Drive, Herndon, VA 20170. If you make a donation of $500 or more, the donation may then qualify for a Virginia income tax credit worth 65% of your donation. For more information contact Jody Wolfe at Jody.wolfe@verizon.net.


To volunteer for FISH, call 703-391-0105 and leave your name and contact information. 



FISH is a member of the following campaigns: 


United Way Campaign No. 8359

UW Logo

Combined Federal Campaign No. 83534

 CFC Logo

Volunteer Spotlight

Ruth Tatlock has volunteered for 30 years with the Bargain Loft. She currently serves as cashier, and previously she priced linens, worked on furniture delivery, and served as secretary for the Bargain Loft Committee. Ruth is one of our most reliable volunteers and will come on short notice when others are not able to fill their shifts as cashier. She says "The Bargain Loft is a great place to work, it is a local store, and you meet the nicest people - both volunteers and customers. Working here is a learning experience." Other volunteers have remarked that "Ruth is wonderful to work with." Thank you Ruth for your many years of service to the Bargain Loft.

Thanks to Our Major  Supporters

Thanks to the following groups and individuals for recent contributions of $1,000 or more to
Herndon-Reston FISH 

United Way CFC Campaign 

 Ruth & Hal Launders Charitable Trust   

The Closet

St. Mark Catholic Church 

Herndon Rotary Club

ExxonMobil Foundation
 Verizon Foundation

Frank Abrams, Jr.

David & Nancy Cary

Anthony & Marcia Di Trapani

Janet Hyman

Berton & Barbara Kramer 

Allen Lenz

Evea Newsom  


The People We Help

The FISH assistance program received a phone call from a social worker associated with a school for disabled children stating that a student, who resides in Herndon, was in immediate need of supplemental nutritional support. The student's doctors were concerned about his weight loss and muscle wasting. The student had other serious health issues, including deafness, autism, inability to communicate, and difficulty walking. The support was urgently needed until the family could make arrangements with Fairfax County for on-going assistance. After talking with the child's mother at length, it was determined that immediate emergency assistance was needed and a FISH volunteer met the mother at a grocery store with gift cards to purchase nutritional supplements. The mother was willing to tell her story so that others would know what a difference FISH made in her life and in that of her son.

Are You Ready to be Spooked?

The Bradley Farms community is once again sponsoring the Halloween "Haunted House" for children and adults. The primary organizers are Tim and Lisa Kelly, Dave and Sarah Bermingham, and Paul and Ann Hanover. All proceeds are donated to Herndon-Reston FISH. The reviews of this Haunted House are fantastic - some say it is the best in the area. Located at 13159 New Parkland Drive in Herndon, tickets are $5. This is the 8th year the homeowner's group has sponsored the event. For more information see www.BFHauntedHouse.com 

The Bargain Loft

BL 2012 Xmas

The Bargain Loft is planning for the Holiday Shop. This is a good time to donate your ornaments, decorations, lights, trees, and outdoor decorations that you will no longer use. Prior to the set-up for the Shop, the Bargain Loft will hold a clearance sale to make room for the holiday items currently in storage. This sale will run from November 4-22. The transition will be made to the Christmas store and it will open Tuesday, November 25. Last year the Holiday Shop sales were about $15,000. Let's see if we can top that this year!

Dates to Remember 



October 24 & 25 - Bradley Farm Haunted House


Thanksgiving Food Boxes

November 1 - Food drive at local Giant Stores for Thanksgiving food boxes

November 17 -20 - Assemble Thanksgiving food boxes


Bargain Loft

November 4-22 - Bargain Loft Clearance Sale

November 25 - Bargain Loft Holiday Store opens


Holiday Parade

November 28 - FISH in the Reston Holiday Parade at the RestonTownCenter


FISH Fling

March 14, 2015 - 10th Annual FISH Fling 

Quick Links

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The Bargain Loft sells on eBay!


under the name