FISH OF SANCAP,  founded over 40 years ago as a neighbors helping neighbors organization continues to value their volunteers as the lifeblood of the organization.  Through activities big and small, FISH volunteers assist with critical Food Programs, Island Based Education workshops, Senior & Social Service programs and Helping Hands services year-round to serve island residents and the workforce.


This time of year, the ‘end of season’ for the islands, comes with mixed emotions for the FISH organization.  “We witness our volunteers, many of whom are ‘snowbirds’, return to their northern homes beginning in late April,” states Maria Espinoza, Executive Director, FISH.  “Volunteers are the essence of our organization. We couldn’t exist without the people who share their treasured time and warm hearts with us and our community. Volunteers help us with everything from delivering meals and assembling backpacks, holiday baskets and Smile Boxes, to stocking shelves, grocery shopping and transportation – and we appreciate all of it!”


In 2023, volunteers FISH volunteers provided 10,603 hours of service equating to an impressive $311,834 and drove 24,000 miles on behalf of FISH and community members.”


As season comes to an end almost half of FISH volunteers head back home through at least October, while the FISH organization finds creative ways to continue to provide services.  “Our year-round volunteers really go above and beyond to help us continue critical services to our residents and workforce throughout the year, including summer months,” continues Espinoza.


FISH uses the volunteer platform POINT to enlist volunteers. Through communication and networking, the organization engages with volunteers to support operational excellence and create a meaningful experience for volunteers.  “It’s refreshing to see our volunteers, new and tenured, work together and develop a bond, enjoy new experiences and grow friendships as they give their time and talent to FISH and our community,” notes Espinoza.


FISH volunteers are full and part-time residents, retired and working, young and young-at-heart.  Some help in one service area, others assist  with several, and some can only give mornings or afternoons or certain days of the week, while others have more availability. With so many possibilities everyone can find a good fit!


There are always opportunities to become involved with FISH as a regularly scheduled volunteer or a one-day family activity while visiting the area. Volunteer groups are also welcome at FISH for special projects or events the organization facilitates. New volunteers are trained in their area(s) of interest, and placed with a more seasoned volunteer, giving newcomers the necessary tools to be successful.


For more information on volunteering with FISH, reach out to the organization at 239-472-4775 or visit their POINT profile at


For additional information on the FISH organization and their programs and services, please contact Maria Espinoza, Executive Director at 239-472-4775 or visit their website at



FISH Volunteer group



FISH of Sanibel-Captiva has been a ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ organization on Sanibel and Captiva for over 40 years. As a social service organization, FISH has been ground zero, in recent years, from natural and environmental crises to the impacts of COVID and now, for catastrophic Hurricane Ian. FISH offers something for everyone—if there is not a service in place for unmet needs of community members, they work to meet it through their expansive regional network. In addition to their Long-Term Recovery program, FISH continues to offer programs representing their four major pillars – Food, Island Based Education, Social and Senior Services, and Helping Hands.

Although FISH has grown from the grassroots organization it started as, it still remains a network of ‘neighbors helping neighbors’; a group of community members committed to the betterment of the islands and southwest Florida community by assisting one neighbor at a time. FISH is proud to say that 86% of every dollar donated goes directly to programs and services including but not limited to:

  • Long-Term disaster recovery
  • Emergency financial assistance 
  • Food pantry 
  • Non-emergency transport 
  • Temporary loan of health equipment 
  • Hurricane preparedness information 
  • Daily hot meals program


More information about FISH is available online at, as well as Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter). For details about hurricane recovery and other services, contact Maria Espinoza, FISH Executive Director, at (239) 472-4775.