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CHARISM’s Grocery Assistance Program (GAP) provides food for up to 150 families a week. On Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and Friday mornings, CHARISM passes along food from the Great Plains Food Bank to “people who need it the most.” Fisher continued: “The food pantries can only give people food on a regimented basis. That leaves gaps. We want to fill that gap. We have some people that come to us where we are their main food source.” In addition to the three signature programs, CHARISM also hosts other outreach events and runs a community garden. CHARISM serves clients from many ethnicities including Indian, Bhutanese, Nepalese, Vietnamese, and many West African countries. Fisher posed, “If you want to see the world, come to our Food Pantry or to one of our programs.” Fisher has goals including “a pipe dream” that CHARISM would be “doing our programming in every community school in Cass and Clay Counties that need our help.” He wants to grow the Check and Connect program at every school: “We have this misconception that schools are going to take care of everything. And they can’t. And they need help. They need the CHARISMs of the world to walk with them and help them.” Fisher wants CHARISM to be a household name in our community – a “known entity.” Fisher said, “CHARISM is a real team. The real heroes are on my team working with people every day. And our clientele is for the most part very appreciative and hard-working, looking out for their families.”

“The real heroes are on my team working with people every day. ” – John Fischer

Directing CHARISM is personal for Fisher, coming from a family who struggled financially: “I remembered when they came into our house and repossessed all of our furniture. I have been there and so many of us have, not knowing where the next meal is coming from. My mom could not afford childcare so I remember playing in the employee break room at the sewing shop where my mom was employed.” Fisher continued: “It is tremendously personal to me, this work we do.” Fisher remembers a turning point as a child when he was “kicked out” of his church’s youth group for heckling. The youth minister talked to him and said, “You are better than this.” Fisher described it as a “turning point” in his life. “The people we work with, many are trying to find a job and provide for their family. We help them with interview skills, applying for the jobs while keeping their children safe in a good environment,” Fisher asserted. CHARISM’s afterschool program provides quality care and a safe space from 2 pm – 6 pm. They even take some children home afterward to give the parents the extra amount of time to work or find work.

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Profile for The Good Life Men's Magazine

The Good Life Men's Magazine - November/December 2018  

Featuring Sheriff Paul Laney. Local Hero - CHARISM, Having a Beer with Joel Heitkamp, Mr. Full-Time Dad and more in Fargo Moorhead's only me...

The Good Life Men's Magazine - November/December 2018  

Featuring Sheriff Paul Laney. Local Hero - CHARISM, Having a Beer with Joel Heitkamp, Mr. Full-Time Dad and more in Fargo Moorhead's only me...

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