I have been fortunate and blessed to help out kids and organizations that want to make a difference. It is very difficult in this day and age to sit back and try to help. If you get a chance volunteer you time to some organizations that help out. Money is great but if you help out you can really make a difference in your community and yourself. In 1st Peter verse 5 it reads “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” Take the time to help out some non-profit organizations. Here are some that do good for the outdoors, your community, your fellow man and the kids.
Catch-A-Dream grants once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences to children 18 years old or younger who have a life-threatening illness. Catch-A-Dream’s singular purpose is to provide consumptive use outdoor experiences to fill the “gap” created when the Make-A-Wish Foundation established national policy that precludes granting a child a wish that involves hunting or use of “…firearms, hunting bows, or other hunting or sport-shooting equipment.”
A Program for Youth with Precious Little Time to Lose
Catch-A-Dream gives children with life-threatening illnesses the chance to experience a once in a lifetime hunting or fishing adventure. When battling cancer, Bruce Brady, noted outdoorsman, author and sculptor drew strength and hope from his beloved outdoor experiences. During the last days of his personal struggle with cancer he was deeply concerned that the world’s largest children’s wish granting organization had established national policy that created a glaring gap in its service to qualifying children. Thus, one segment of the qualifying child population would no longer be able to realize their greatest dream; a dream that Bruce and countless outdoorsmen considered worthy and appropriate. He envisioned a program that would fill this service gap and provide life-changing hunting and fishing experiences for children facing life-threatening illness at a time when “….these children need to know that hope does, indeed, exist.” Although Bruce did not survive long enough to accomplish anything beyond sharing his vision with friends and family, the program was created a few months after his death in 2000 by some of those same friends and family members. Ultimately, in 2003, the Catch-A-Dream Foundation was chartered to provide a 501c3 home specifically to support the Program by the same name.
But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31 (NIV)
It is this very message of hope, as promised in Isaiah 40:31, that we seek to instill in these children and their families. We use hunting and fishing as opportune tools to expose them to the “..wonders of God…” that await them in “The High Country,” as they spend time in the outdoors, away from the bleak and sterile world of medical facilities, treatments, and hospital gowns, but in the presence of The Creator who is the Author of real hope. On each trip, the children and the family members who accompany them, are surrounded by outdoors-minded people who understand that these children are often “…sick and tired of being sick and tired!” A designated Catch-A-Dream host accompanies each family and, together with outfitters and local volunteers, facilitate their dream experience, love and nurture them through the strong personal relationships that inevitably are forged in the lodge, on the stream or in the woods. Hosts and volunteers often become their best friends, and remain a part of their families long after the dream trip has concluded. As one volunteer eloquently stated, “We can’t change the whole world; but we can change someone’s whole world for at least a short period!” Many parents have confirmed that the mission is consistently accomplished!
Catch-A-Dream grants once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences to children 18 years old or younger who have a life-threatening illness. Catch-A-Dream has touched over 200 families to date. We have granted outdoor adventures for children from 43 states. We hope to have touched lives in all of the 50 states and Canada in the very near future.
The Catch-A-Dream Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, working in cooperation with the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
Pete Odland founded Hunt for a Cure (HFC) in 2001 in honor of his four-year-old son, Dylan, who has cystic fibrosis (CF). When Pete learned of his son’s terminal disease, he knew he had to join the fight to cure CF. The next couple years Pete helped with the existing fundraisers, but Pete wanted to do more. One day while sitting in his tree stand he came up with the idea of HFC. Pete couldn’t wait to get started. Because his enthusiasm was contagious he soon had a committee of highly ambitious and dedicated people. With the strong committee that Pete had assembled, success was only a matter of time. The committee wanted to get a major sponsor who would be a good fit for HFC so they approached Scent-Lok. One of the officers of Scent-Lok had lost two sisters to CF, so they immediately embraced HFC and became the title sponsor of the Camouflage Ball and an unwavering supporter of HFC. Soon after Regal Financial Group joined the HFC and the organization has continued to grow since that time.
Pete and the board of directors of HFC are passionate about continuing to make HFC a major force in finding the eventual cure of cystic fibrosis. We hope you will join us in our Hunt for a Cure!
Benefit4Kids was founded in 1998 with its primary mission to grant the outdoor wishes of children with life threatening and life limiting illnesses. We also work to involve today’s children in the outdoors and the many activities it offers them. Many of today’s children are denied the opportunity to experience the outdoors because of costs, lack of available mentors and a limited amount of facilities offering an all around outdoor experience. Benefit4Kids works to help these children experience the outdoors through several children’s programs. Benefit4Kids also works closely with several children’s camps designed to work with injured and ill children. Instructors at these camps are experienced in medical procedures necessary to work with these children. They are also experienced in archery, camping, outdoor cooking, hiking, nature and many other facets of outdoor activities. In working with these and several other children’s camps Benefit4Kids will continue to assist many less fortunate children enjoy our great outdoors and help them to learn the morals and family values that are so often lacking today.
There ya have it 3 quality orgainazations that make a difference in people lives and still promoting the outdoors. Take some time out of your schedule and help out, you’ll be glad you did.