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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: To help returning warriors relax, rehabilitate, and reintegrate through kayak fishing and the outdoors. Heroes on the Water has helped thousands of our nation's warriors overcome difficulties brought on by multiple deployments. HOW empowers veterans to decompress and reconnect with themselves, their family, and become part of a lifelong community.

Results: Our program has been privileged to serve over 12,824 warriors since 2007. In 2014, we provided 3,590 warriors and 1,116 family members a chance to unwind and enjoy the benefits of our kayak fishing program. As a national program, 35 chapters and a therapeutic program deliver the program in 19 states. A network of 4,371 committed volunteers gave 36,111 volunteer hours delivering the program at a value of $833,081 that leveraged the financial investments. Our therapeutic program is showing promise. A study of 79 warriors over 180 days that kayak fished as part of their rehabilitation demonstrated a 78% reduction in overall stress, 77% reduction in hyper vigilance, 63% reduction in avoidance behavior, and a 56% reduction in recurring nightmares. 2015 is proving to demonstrate continued expansion of our blueprint to reach more returning veterans and their families and help them reconnect in their journey home.

Target demographics: returning warriors relax, rehabilitiate and reintegrate

Direct beneficiaries per year: returning warriors and their families with 3,590 vet days on the water.

Geographic areas served: locations across the U.S.A.

Programs: kayak fishing in the outdoors. The program is provided at no cost to the veterans or their families.

Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Fred35

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heroes on the water Rio Grande Valley is an invaluable escape for veterans of all branches to decompress and unwind a little with other veterans.... To see and be part of this organization is both a blessing and an honor. To find out how you can join/help your local chapter near you, visit http://heroesonthewater.org/ Paddle, Fish, Heal ----- Fred Garcia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered for the first time earlier this year for RGV HOW chapter as a guide I was a bit nervous at first but fell right into place after talking to a few Veterans on how pumped up they were to do sum fishing. I had so much fun watching veterans and their families go out on the kayaks for the first time, catching their first fish, and leaving with a big smile and wanting to come back the next event. Is a great feeling to experience giving back to those that have given so much for me and for our Country. It a Honor to give back to our Veterans and to ones that are still serving our Country

Donor

Rating: 5

I have known the founder of HOW for many years and witnessed the passion and commitment of his time and personal resources to get program started and bringing all important comfort and assistance to veterans. I have donated significantly to the program for years and has seen how efficiently and effectively my dollars have been used directly for program purposes.

Brad, Fairfax, VA

Damian4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with the DC chapter of Heroes On the Water for three events and have had a great time. The DC staff plans and executes these events well and all of the volunteers work well as a team in order to assist and create a great time/atmosphere for our veterans. I am very happy to have found a charity that I look forward to volunteering at. The DC chapter has created a great community of kayak fishermen that give back to the past and present military community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I volunteered for the first time for RGV HOW chapter as a guide I enjoyed it very much that I wanted to continue. Just watching veterans and their families go out on a kayak for the first time, catching their first fish, and leaving with a big smile and wanting to come back. Is a great feeling to experience. Getting to know other veterans and volunteers in the same area, getting that sense of brotherhood again is awesome. I can't say thank you enough for letting me be apart of this chapter.

Javier D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer as a guide when I can for 2 years now with South Texas RGV HOW group. What an AWESOME experience and group. I can't say enough about the organization, preparation, and satisfaction of these events. Healing and friendships.....

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I volunteer with Heroes on the water RGV. It's a great orginazation and a great way to give back to the men and women who have served our great nation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I started volunteering after my brother started fishing with them! We believe in what they are doing and when we are able, whether my brother is fishing in the event or not, we offer support.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with HOW for a year now. I feel very blessed to be able to help out. I started out wanting to show my gratitude to veterans. I have been so blessed at every outing. Seeing the difference this organization makes for our vets is amazing.
Seeing a vet go from arriving, standing alone and leaving soon after lunch to him arriving with a smile on his face, helping out and hugging everyone before leaving.
Wow! What a difference!!
Thank you HOW
I will continue to volunteer and help out in any way I can.

Client Served

Rating: 5

HOW is the best local veteran's organization in the Sarasota area. You couldn't ask for nicer and more accommodating people who really enjoy getting together and being active. It's always a great time that leaves you feeling refreshed. My son, a disabled vet, appreciates being around other vets. Raul is a perfect leader. Yay for HOW!!!