Opinion

See a movie, have fun and make a big difference | Editor's Notebook

From left, Lynn Ziegler, Garvin Tootle, Colleen Smith, and Gwen Rose, all of Poulsbo, are part of the Fishline team.  - Richard Walker / Herald
From left, Lynn Ziegler, Garvin Tootle, Colleen Smith, and Gwen Rose, all of Poulsbo, are part of the Fishline team.
— image credit: Richard Walker / Herald

The economy is still recovering. The state unemployment rate is 7.9 percent. And yet people still find ways to make a difference in the lives of others, to pay it forward, or to give back.

Lynn Ziegler is a humble person who knows what it’s like to be on the receiving end of generosity. An author and media educator, she became a North Kitsap Fishline client after she became unable to work. She’s now doing what she can to help the agency that has the backs of so many in our community.

Ziegler has organized a benefit for Fishline at Regal Cinemas in Poulsbo, called “Make Magic Happen.”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” opens July 15, 16, and 17. If you go, bring two canned food items and you’ll be entered into a drawing for really cool Harry Potter stuff.

See a movie, have fun, and make a big difference in the community.

Ziegler and Regal Cinemas first made magic happen when “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” premiered in 2001. Children got a popcorn discount in exchange for two canned food items. “They filled two trucks with donations, and we received enough cash donations to send $250 each to the three food banks in Kitsap County,” she said.

The bulk of this generosity came from children.

“We always underestimate the generosity in children’s hearts,” Ziegler said. “I used to write for television and do a lot of work with children in media literacy. Their ability to empathize can’t be measured. If they knew people in this community were hungry, I knew they would hook into that. And they came out in droves.”

Garvin Tootle, Fishline’s operations manager, said children can teach us a lot about generosity.

“I’ve seen more and more  kids  with  birthday  parties, where they ask people to bring food donations instead of gifts,” he said. “I first saw that two years ago and I was almost floored. Now, I’m seeing more and more of that.”

The need is great. Fishline provides food for 5,000 people a month, through its food bank, its emergency food boxes, and its school lunch programs.

“And that’s just food,” Tootle said. “Obviously, some people get help with electricity, help with their mortgage payment, or we put someone up for a night or two. We also provide a safe place for abused women.”

Tootle said Fishline gives its clients enough food for four days worth of meals. “But they are making it last more than a week.”

Fishline is about giving people a hand, not a handout. In the army of 160 volunteers are people who know what it’s like to go through a rough patch and get some help from Fishline until they get back on their feet. Fishline goes beyond meeting physical needs; stores donate fresh-cut flowers to brighten homes, and birthday cakes so no child’s birthday party is without.

Tootle said it’s easy to make a difference. “When you shop, shop bargains and bring some extras to us. And, of course, we can use dollars.”

Ziegler added, “And make sure you see Harry Potter and bring some canned goods.”

By the way, the Knights of Columbus and St. Vincent de Paul Society has a goal to collect one ton of non-perishable food for Fishline in July.

They are calling their effort the “Christmas in July Food Drive,” and are asking each family to donate two cans at each Mass in July. The Knights are challenging each other to bring in five cans July 23 and 24.

According to the Knights, summertime needs include health and hygiene products, diapers, canned tuna, meats and peanut butter, Hamburger Helper and similar meat extenders, condiments, breakfast cereals, canned vegetables and fruits.

— Contact Richard Walker at 779-4464 or rwalker@northkitsapherald.com.

 

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