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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, 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

75 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heroes on the Water is a wonderful nonprofit organization that helps our wounded veterans and their families. After experiencing a couple of outings it's my new charity of choice. They exceeded my expectations by delivering a truly remarkable experience.

Previous Stories
1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I recently attended my first Heroes on the Water event in San Diego, California. I was totally impressed with the professionalism of the volunteers and the inclusiveness of the families and service members in all the day's activities. This organization lives and breathes its mission. All one needs to do is attend an event and see the transformation that takes place. This organization makes me proud as a veteran.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heroes on the Water is more than just a fun time. All the leaders of Chapters I have met are oustanding individuals. They truly care about today's Veterans and let each and everyone of use know we are not alone. I have made so many friends from attending HOW events. They give me a appreciation for life. Thanks for all you do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Heroes On the Water has helped so many people and has changed so many lives.... just here in the San Antonio/New Braunfels/Coastal Bend area. Paddle, Fish, Heal- I guarantee it works.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been part of the Northeast OK HOW chapter for 5 years. These folks are now my family and I can't imagine my life without any of them. Even though kayak fishing is the focus, the day on the water isn't just about kayaking or fishing. The relaxation on the water and being out in the outdoors can't be measured. The laughter and smiles warm your heart. Sometimes there is some ribbing, but it's always in good fun. Once you attend an event, you are part of the family. HOW has made my life and my family's lives better. No question about it!

Advisor

Rating: 5

I've had the privilege of interviewing several veterans who have received services from Heroes on the Waters and their stories are very powerful! In every case, the veteran has credited the HOW experience with giving him/her inner peace. They note the benefits of camaraderie, tranquility and the ability to move more easily into their civilian lives. In every case, the veterans told me that HOW has significantly impacted their lives, included several who state that HOW saved their lives.

Here is a quote from the article Thankful for our HOW Family that supports my statements (you can find many of these on the blog of the HOW website):

“Not only has Heroes on the Water saved my life, but they have made it so I can be so much more successful, help others be successful, and provide for my family.” –Brandon Walden

It's proven that being in nature, particularly on the water, is therapeutic. For those who have given so much, it can be life changing. I'm blessed to have the opportunity to hear so many of these stories, and am proud to be part of an organization that saves so many.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer with this organization for 5+ years. As a volunteer I get a share one of my passions, kayak fishing, with my brothers and sisters. Its truly a great feeling passing on one of my stress relievers to another veteran and watching the thrill of being on the water and catching fish. To see a veteran show up hesitant but leave with huge smiles and new friends is truly rewarding. When you add the fact that their families can participate as well and you see those special moments shared it adds another level of pride.

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.