SIDNEY — The FISH Thrift Shop and Food Pantry will be celebrating its 40th anniversary Aug. 8–13.
The FISH organization has actually existed for a little longer than 40 years, but the store itself has been a part of the Shelby county community for the past 40 years. Co-founders Barbara Smith and Farrel Kaplan opened the first FISH Thrift Store just south of the courthouse in downtown Sidney on South Ohio Avenue in May 1982. With humble beginnings, but a great desire to be a good neighbor to all in Shelby County, FISH store earned only $22.65 in sales that very first day, but it was a start.
After several years, the FISH grew and needed more room, so the store relocated to Court Street which was much bigger and better for the organization. Then the FISH grew even bigger and 12 years ago moved to its present location at 1128 W. Michigan St. FISH began renting one unit of the building and quickly outgrew that, so a second and then, just last fall, a third unit of the four- unit building became occupied by FISH.
For the first 40 years of FISH’s existence it was run 100% by volunteers and, at the beginning, was just a handful of people. Today, there are nearly 80 volunteers and two part-time employees.
FISH is grateful for all who have contributed time, talents, donations and gifts to make it possible for FISH to fulfill its mission to provide assistance for those who live in Shelby County who are in need of food, clothing, medicine and other necessities.
To celebrate folks who donate, shop and receive assistance at FISH, as well as to thank those who support FISH in other ways, a week of “FISH Specials” will be offered. Each day a different free item will be given out to all who come into the store.
There are also free refreshments each day. Shoppers can enter a drawing for a $40 FISH gift certificate which will be awarded at the end of each day. Those who do not win the gift certificate will be entered into a drawing for FISH gift baskets and other items which will be given away at the end of the week of celebration.
On Friday, Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. a free hotdog lunch will be provided on the FISH porch and Saturday morning, Aug. 13, a complimentary “grab and go” breakfast will be available.
In addition, select Christmas items will be available for purchase all week. To kick off the week, a special prayer will be offered at FISH by Pastor Harry Peterson of Cornerstone Assembly of God Church on Monday morning at 9:45 a.m.
All are welcome to attend and to help celebrate all week long at the FISH Thrift Store and Food Pantry. FISH hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – noon. The Assistance Office is open Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.