As the holiday season approaches, we who volunteer at FISH wish to extend our sincere and deepest thanks to the Williamsburg community for its unwavering and generous support that for more than 40 years has sustained our mission of providing food, clothing and small housewares to the less fortunate and needy citizens of Williamsburg, James City County and the Bruton District of York County.
The extraordinary generosity of this community’s individuals, churches, schools, local civic organizations and businesses inspires us daily. Indeed, whenever the food shelves grow empty, the clothing racks are lean or when monetary donations begin to dwindle, we are continually amazed by the outpouring of help from our beloved community.
From this appreciated support, more than 142,000 meals have been distributed since the beginning of this year, and more than 7,500 outfits of clothing have been provided to our neighbors in need.
And to further our stewardship of this community’s generosity, this year we initiated an outreach effort to support the Head Start Backpack program, providing healthy and nutritious food items to 100 preschool children. Seeing a need during the summer months for food-challenged children, we succeeded in helping through our Summer Feeding Program school children of the Williamsburg/James City County area of which there are some 4,000 eligible and in need of assistance.
FISH has also assumed responsibility for hosting and frequently sponsoring the 3rd Thursday Fresh Food Program which each month provides fresh produce and other fresh food items to about 100 families qualified for assistance.
Unfortunately, the need never abates.
But, gratefully, neither does the strength and goodness of our Williamsburg neighbors, without whom none of these efforts would be possible.
We also are grateful for the recent financial support by new members of the community, such as Publix, the Wells Fargo Foundation and the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation. We also want to extend our thanks to the many organizations that have generously supported us over the years and steadfastly continue to do so.
The strong and unwavering commitment of the Williamsburg community gives us the strength each day to move steadily forward in our mission, dedicated to helping those of our neighbors in need and to being worthy stewards of the resources with which you so generously entrust us.
With our wishes to you all for a happy and blessed holiday season, we extend our deepest respect and enduring thanks.
Ray Scharfenberger and the volunteers and board members of FISH, Inc.