Dear Editor,

FISH Financial Ministry faces temporary suspension. FISH recently met to discuss the severe 2013 shortfall in donations to their financial ministry. To date for 2013, Financial has received less than half the dollars received through June 2012. Funds normally received from corporate gifting, churches and individual gifts are lagging as well as some grants for financial assistance through FISH have been postponed or reallocated to other uses.

FISH Financial distributes monies to people who need help with utility bills; rent of mortgage payments; gas vouchers to enable doctor visits or employment interviews; and some transient or emergency vouchers for housing. Total distribution of over $52,000 was the need FISH was able to address in our county in 2012. This equals approximately $125 per family or individual - not a large amount, but enough to help "get over the hump."

At the recent meeting, it was decided that the average gift must be reduced to $75 and all gas and housing vouchers will be made unavailable until funds are received to help in those areas of need. If the current giving trend continues, it could be anticipated that the entire ministry could be suspended in the near future.

Please consider your opportunities to assist the FISH Financial Ministry through your place of employment, church, friends and family, and of course your personal gifts. Fish is a not-for-profit 501C corporation committed to aiding Montgomery County citizens through a food pantry, clothing closet, linen closet and financial help.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful considerations.

Phil Wray,

FISH of Montgomery County