“It’s not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.” ― Leo Buscaglia, American Author 

Over the last fifteen years, Heroes on the Water (HOW) has had the honor of serving over 56,000 veterans and first responders with the help of generous volunteers and donors. Every day, men and women across the United States and around the globe make the choice to protect and serve our communities and our country. With this choice comes sacrifices that most of us never realize have been made. From spending time separated from loved ones to dealing with frequent traumatic and dangerous situations, people who serve can often experience physical, psychological and emotional impacts that last far beyond their time at work.  

HOW creates events that promote wellness, inner peace and community building to give participants the opportunity to heal and rejuvenate, but we can’t do it alone. Partners and donors play a major role in helping us achieve our mission because their generosity gives us access to resources that make it possible to bring hope to thousands of veterans, first responders and their families. Our partner, Pure Fishing, is supporting our mission in so many ways. We sat down with Kimberly Hoffman and Ryan Hall to talk about what drew them to HOW. 

When Values and Missions Align 

Pure Fishing is an industry-leading fishing tackle manufacturer whose portfolio includes some of the most recognized brands in fishing tackle, lures, rods, reels, and storage. As a company, they are committed to actively supporting the tradition of fishing and organizations that leverage the joy of fishing to benefit their communities. When they learned about HOW’s mission, they knew that our goals were in alignment with their values of inclusivity, diversity and generating joy and hope through fishing.  

“We look to support organizations that foster participation, education, diversity and inclusion in our sport. HOW does this and so much more so it felt like it was the perfect partnership.” Ryan says, “A lot of elements of your mission were attractive to us – introducing people to fishing as a way to find joy and peace, delivering an experience with no expense to participants, the ability of people to enjoy events with no experience needed, as well as the fact that HOW factors in differently abled people, giving them access to these wellness events. We were proud to partner with an organization making such a big impact.”  

Kimberly adds, “Bringing more people to the sport to appreciate fishing as much as we do is one of our core values. We especially care about the accessibility aspect and that HOW makes events inclusive. That was a big deal for us.” 

Kayak fishing has a range of health and wellness benefits. Because of the low-impact nature and high degree of adaptability of the equipment needed to participate in the sport, people of any age and most ability levels can participate. This allows veterans and first responders who may have been injured in the line of duty to still enjoy events with the HOW community as well as their loved ones of any age giving everyone a chance to experience healing, peace and joy in the outdoors. 

Both Kimberly and Ryan relate to the health and wellness benefits of fishing.  

“Being outside, getting away from it all – fishing is an opportunity to, phone off, get away from the daily grind, and take time to recenter” says Kimberly, “Kayak fishing does that. You’re away from electronics. You become one with the water, something that is very beneficial for the soul and the mind to reset, and it does your body good.” 

Ryan adds “There are mind freeing benefits of fishing – you are on a mission and that allows you to ignore all the other stressors from everyday life. Catching a fish is the focus and you can free your mind of everything else. Whether you catch something or you don’t, at the end you still had the opportunity to free your mind of other stressors.” 

Bring Hope to Heroes 

Without our generous donors and supporters, Heroes on the Water could not fulfill our mission to provide wellness and community to our heroes and their families through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Here’s what our participant Mike Libertini says about HOW’s program: 

Fishing and kayaking did something for me that nothing else could,” Mike says. It allows me space to just be alone, adrift in a place free from crime, panic, or violence.” 

For businesses who are looking to give back and to connect with different communities, partnering with nonprofit organizations is a great way to accomplish those goals. There are many benefits for both parties. HOW’s partnership with Pure Fishing is a great example of a mutually beneficial relationship.  

“Our partnership with HOW extends our reach to new communities while also allowing us to use our resources to help spread awareness about HOW’s mission and goals.” says Ryan. 

As an individual, your donation will ensure that our veterans, first responders and families are given an opportunity to relax and reconnect.  This is only possible through your generous support. Please consider a gift to provide hope to our heroes today. No amount is too small and will make a positive impact in the lives of those who choose to keep us safe, keep us free, and keep us as a strong community. 
This story is part of our Heroes, Heart and Hope series.

  1. James leroy. (Vietnam Vet.) December 23, 2022 at 3:40 pm - Reply

    I am located in central Indiana I have two Hobie 14 foot Kyaks ready for fishing would love to meet at one of your outings, then love to help with preparing dinner etc.

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