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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

My Warrior's Place, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Services, Military & Veterans Organizations, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Veterans

Mission: To provide a relaxed setting and a safe harbor where healing can begin for those who have endured the sacrifice that is made when one serves or has a family member who serves in the military.

Results: Currently we are trying to fundraise to finish the new house we have already under construction. This building will allow us to provide our Grief and Peer Mentoring Program under one roof.

Target demographics: Veterans, Military Service Members, Blue Star and Gold Star Families.

Direct beneficiaries per year: over 15,000 American Heroes and their Families

Geographic areas served: Ruskin, FL

Programs: My Warrior's Place Retreat Center Project Corregidor Grief & Peer Mentoring Program FAVE Boating Expeditions

Community Stories

67 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Gerald M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Warrior's Place is offering many services and opportunities to help our Veterans and their families. A varied group of businesses and volunteer groups pitching into support the activities and facilities operated by My Warrior's Place.

Guy M.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife and I , both Air Force vets, had the privilege of staying a few days at My Warrior's Place this past June. We had a wonderful time and can attest to the restorative power that the retreat has. We admire the work that Kelly Kowall continues to do for our service members, veterans, and first responders.

Guy & Lorie McDonald

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wow. What an incredible concept "My Warriors Place" is. From the moment I learned about this place, I have been enamored with it. You see, I lost my son, SPC. Zane McDonald, after he returned from a combat tour in Iraq. The loss of our son has radically changed our lives. We can relate to Kelly and what she has gone through. What Kelly has done to honor her son by helping military members, wounded warriors, veterans, blue star and gold star families, and first responders is inspiring. Kelly gave me a tour or My Warriors Place today. After she showed me around, we just sat for a bit and talked about our sons. I'm blown away by what Kelly and her network of volunteers and donors have been able to accomplish in the last seven years.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This non-profit operates with integrity and kindness and looks out for the well being of our uniformed warriors, all those that serve our country. Providing a place to relax, take a break, enjoy the great outdoors and love on their family. These folks truly care and will go to lengths to serve those who come here for some richly deserved time to breathe. The community is very proud of this non-profit. Down -to-earth good folks!!

Gail W.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This non profit takes care of our veterans and first responders.

Charlie L.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nothing short of a life saver. I came seeking purpose. I needed a peaceful environment to find myself again. I had almost nothing when I arrived. My Warrior’s Place gave me everything I needed to rebuild and hasn’t stopped giving since I arrived. Most importantly, they gave me purpose. They gave me a reason to exist. I feel like I’m part of something important, making a difference, for the first time in a really long time. So thankful I found this place when I did.

robertbrittanygass

Client Served

Rating: 5

We love this nonProfit! We always have the best time here with our family! They honor and serve our Service Members in an amazing way!

Scott R.4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome place for veterans, especially those that are. Stressed or in a bad place, great way to reset with like minded people

Donor

Rating: 5

Wonderful place for Military men, women and their families to relax!

Tony G.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The folks at My Warriors Place are super friendly and welcoming. The work that they do for Service Members, Veterans and their families is definitely appreciated. I took my boys fishing out there and was able to use their canoes on the river. The boys loved it. Thank you MWP for all you do.

Ben M.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Such an amazing place for peace comfort and comrodary . Truly a safe space away from home!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This place is a work of love!
The stories of kindness and community are endless.

Ashley C.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They have given soo much to families with members in the armed forces or emergency services by providing a safe and fun place for families to relax and escape from reality for a little.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

22 soldiers committ suicide on average per day... A year ago that number was was 21 because of people like CSM Mike... I can't possibly thank MWP enough. I am alive because of this place I think that should tell you enough.

Haley H.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Warrior's Place is absolutely wonderful. My family and I were blessed to be sponsored and able to come to this serene location. We were able to fish, ride bikes, kayak, cook s'mores and so much more. My husband was able to see a hypnotist for some personal issues (sleep, etc.). Kelly was a absolute delight to be around. Mike and Kara were so helpful and a joy. We will definitely be returning next year!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This operation serves a HUGE purpose to aid our service men and women who need a way to find a purpose and peace in their lives. It is amazing how tirelessly they work and let no obstacle stand in the way of their mission. OohRah !

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have watched My Warrior's Place from close to the beginning. The things that impress me are that most of the donations go directly to helping wounded warriors and Five Star Mothers and Fathers as most of help and expenses are donated by volunteers. They are motivated because of the effectiveness of helping. They have a quality program helping returning warriors deal with emotional issues they bring home. God bless My Warrior's Place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My warrior place is a sanctuary for veterans and everyday hero’s police fire fighters etc.... Kelly has truly created a peaceful place to relax and you makes you feel like you belong. ⚓️

Brandon Holly T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Warriors place truly is an escape for veterans. It’s peaceful and truly a place that a veteran can let down their guard while there. Kelley and Mike are amazing people and what they are trying to do really is special.

Kristen K.6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am amazed at the growth and impact MWP has been able to make in such a short period of time! So many lives touched and so many more to come!

Sandra J. P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have found a new heroine and an indescribable facility. My Warrior's Place provides a multitude of free and vital services to military and first responders. Kelly Kowall started this project in memory of her son, Corey, who was killed in Afghanistan. I have watched MWP grow for the past 2 years and listened to stories told by those who have received help there. To my knowledge, MWP is the only facility that provides care of this kind for military and first responders. Kelly is my heroine!!

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

For the past 9 years my husband and I have conducted a Veteran's Day golf tournament at The Groves Golf & Country Club in Land O Lakes, Florida. This year we were looking for a new charity and were introduced to Kelly Kowall of My Warrior's Place (MWP) in Ruskin, Florida. Kelly gave us a tour of the facility she started in honor of her son, Corey, who was killed in Afghanistan. It is truly an amazing place, "founded in honor of all the brave men and women who wore a military uniform and died while serving...dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of our Veterans, Military Service Members, First Responders, and Blue, Silver & Gold Star Families....Giving the gift of hope and healing to those who give us the gift of freedom!" Our goal is to help Kelly install a chairlift for wheelchair bound heroes to access healing services. The property consists of some housing and amenities that include but are not limited to: canoes, kayaks, paddle boat, fishing equipment, fire pit, gas grills, bicycles, .... Kelly and her volunteers are truly dedicated to making our world a better place for many who need to be cared for and thanked for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our freedom. Thanks, Kelly!!

Dan N A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband is medically retired law enforcement and I am active law enforcement. We stayed at MWP spring of 2019 and it was fantastic!!! Amenities and staff were very accommodating! Kelly was very nice and made herself available when needed! 100% will go back and enjoy the relaxing, peaceful, home away from home type get away!

Ed M.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kind hearted, well mannered, well received, and loving organization. They received me and my family with open arms and provide excellent and exceptional service. Will return a 100 times.

Linda Lou Whitfield F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My group sends cards to MWP! Appreciation is expressed and we feel like we are part of the healing of these Warriors! The interaction on FB by the organization shows an interest in the participants as well as the public! It’s a privilege to be a “part” of it all!

Jay S.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’m a veteran. When I got out, I fell on serious hard times. I didn’t seek out help. And my warriors place found me through connections. They helped out in ways I can never repay. I’ll have their back until I die. Outstanding nonprofit. Outstanding leaders in their organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

Outstanding opportunity for what our military, veterans, their families, and Gold Star families need to gain perspective. Kelly strives to offer what our military (past, current, and future - and their families) need to carry on.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A haven for veterans and their families.
A beautiful , serene , waterfront retreat. Statistics show that veterans on the water decrease their anxiety, anger, improved mental illness , and ptsd.
Kelly, a gold star Mother, has provided this inexpensive retreat to our community. Worthy of a visit if you are in the area

Moe Andrews J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They help veterans in their time of need and work with other local businesses to provide other services, as well.

mag2school

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic organization and people. Kelly helping veterans and their families. Doing a great job!

Client Served

Rating: 5

The best place to relax and enjoy . This place changed our lives.

Molly Davis C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is amazing! They have so many different things you can do there and Kelly is amazing. There are places to stay, you can go kayaking, go out on the boat and fellowship with other veterans. They offer all kinds of activities please check this place out!

Steve J.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Love volunteering here, great resource for veterans like no other, peaceful surroundings and support for those who sacrificed the most!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband (Vietnam Nam era) & I were there for 3 months, December 28th 2018 until April 5th 2019. I have never been to such a quiet & serene place. The founder, Kelly, long time volunteers, Mike, Rose & Gina are amazing people, they all make you feel like family!! We loved it so much that we are returning this December for 3 months!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is amazing. So is the fishing! Love what they do for our vets

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a retreat with them! They r absolutely all abt veterans. U couldn't ask for a better organization. Thank u all for what u do.

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

Thank you so much for taking your time to give us a review!

Anderson S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I stayed here in July of 2019. We had a wonderful time and enjoyed our reservation very much.

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

Thanks! Appreciate your review!

Sonya B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The feeling of pure serenity when driving on to this property is amazing!! The work they do for Veterans is beyond words!

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

I am glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for writing the review!

Wendy Hoffman A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So happy a place like this exists for Veterans! Their mission is clear and they are truly helping our men and woman who have served our great nation

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

Thank you Wendy. And thank you for the review!

Kasper S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I personal have never been to My Warriors place in Ruskin Florida yet! But through Returning The favor, I found my hearts place to donate monthly. I Believe in what the founder has made possible & truly LOVE her back story & how this all started. I'm not rich but wanted to find a small way to help, & my heart found my Warrior's Place. I hope to visit next time I'm in Florida. Wonderful people, a truly wonderful place for Gold Star family's to heal!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My Warrior's place is a step above. With open arms they are their for those who need a place to recharge, retreat and find themselves again. With out regard to them selves they give..and give...a d give. Truly heaven sent.

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

Thanks William. And thank you so much for taking your time to give us a review!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband has been really stressed and having issues with anger, we came here and talked to Mike and Kara then went onpaddle boating and kayaking ride he said this is what he needed just to get away and to know people care.

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

Glad we can be here to help. Thank you for the review!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been volunteering for about a year now. Everything that happens here is by donations and volunteers. There’s something about it that makes you feel about what your doing and I can’t explain but you feel the lost lives are touching you and saying thank you for not forgetting us. It’s really s amazing place that lets men and woman we did not forget about you. Also mAny places to stay at My Warriors Place with boating and fishing and councling when needed It’s a wonderful place where you can come and get used to civilian life again and leave better for it. If you haven’t been there please go and see it. It’s a wonderful place that does wonderful things for the people who sacrificed so much for us and our country.

Comments ( 1 )

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Kelly Kowall 09/18/2019

Lucy... so glad to have you volunteering. And thank you so much for taking your time to give us a review!

William N H.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have both a radio and TV show and they have appeared on both. Prior to their appearance, i did my due diligence to be sure they were as the said they were and honestly they are much more. The service they provide for veterans is beyond compare from both a compassion side and economic side. Every dollar given to them goes directly into the multiple programs they manage. Among the local veteran's community, they are held in very high regard. Most if not all of our veterans clubs and organizations support them to one extent of the other with money and volunteers. A dollar given to them is truly a support for a vet in need. see the TV show I did with them at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN6xcdPqL_8&t=1378s

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Warrior's Place is a great place to come and visit. You can fish off the docks, use the canoes and kayaks, or just simply relax and unwind. The cottages are gorgeous and fully furnished. The staff try to be helpful and friendly. I love this place.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Warrior's Place gives you a sense of Peace when you drive through the entrance. I have seen veterans come out of their shells on a Retreat. One Vet came all the way from Georgia with her dog. Until the day she decided she was coming to Florida, she wouldn't go anywhere but knew she had to come for the Grief Program. I helped at the event but was not in the programs but the difference in this Lady was amazing. That's just one example. There are lots more.

Tyson S.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've never seen an organization as dedicated to their cause as My Warriors Place. Not a penny is wasted. Most support is volunteer. They work 24/7 to improve quality of the premises and programs and are always willing to lend a hand when needed to support military and first responders, whether active or retired. I can't say enough good things about them.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family and I were homeless and this wonderful lady and her 2 lovely co workers came to the rescue when we had no luck in finding funding, also gave us a place to stay so we could bond as a whole family...ny warriors place is such a wonderful little get away for families ❤️

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand how healing My Warrior's Place is for those who come the retreat center. It is truly amazing what has been accomplished in just 5 years. The grounds are so beautiful and so peaceful. You can't really capture how special this place is in words, you have to come and experience it for yourself.

2 Stephany E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Warriors Place is truly a one of a kind non-profit organization that really cares about local veterans, active duty military, and first responders. As a student from Gannon University who is getting my doctorate in Occupational Therapy I was given the opportunity to do a fieldwork level 1 with Kelly and learned about all of the different things her organization offers. My Warriors Place has so many levels, not only do they provide affordable lodging in well kept cabins right on the water for a retreat, they offer a place for healing. The love and dedication of the volunteers at My Warriors Place is so touching you can feel the love when you walk on the property! I encourage any veterans to come and check out this organization and it's beautiful well kept property, enjoy the day on the water with some Kayaks or fishing!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

We stayed at My Warrior's Place for 10 days in March. It was a wonderful experience. Kelly made every effort for us to enjoy our stay. We enjoyed the peace and quiet. The grounds are absolutely beautiful. We would and have recommended it to any veterans looking for a place to relax. We stayed in a trailer for part of our stay and also stayed in her cottage. Both places had everything we needed - and made a perfect home away from home!

2 Diane173

Client Served

Rating: 4

My husband and I stayed for 4 weeks (Feb 7th-March 5, 2016) and found this to be a very relaxing and enjoyable location. Kelly Kowal, the founder/manager, treated us very well. Fishing (and equipment) was available with docks right in front of the housing area. We had access to bikes for riding in the city of Ruskin. There were plenty of restaurants (with good food) and shopping nearby. Kelly provided all the supplies that you need to get started, too. Also, I would like to mention Kelly's assistant, Pam, who even dog sat for us once while we took a day trip! I would really recommend this to other veterans/families for a place to unwind. Thanks Kelly and Pam!! Jack, (oops! no,) Tom & Diane :-)

1 Pamela108

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I met Kelly trough mutual friends when l was moving back to the area and looking for a place to live. I have been here for 3 months now and can't think of anywhere I'd rather live. It's fantastic to see her work for and with the veterans and first responders and their families. It is truly an amazing place. I started volunteering shortly after moving in and now it's become a part of me. To see the veterans come out to relax and enjoy themselves is a joy. We have had boating trips with groups so diverse, from WWll vets to newly enlisted all fishing and sharing their stories.They have given so much to their country and Kelly tries hard to give just a little bit back to them. I am proud to call Kelly my friend and My Warrior's Place my home.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I met Kelly when I was in the middle of moving from Ft Campbell to Tampa. I had been looking for a place to stay when Kelly opened a cabin for me until I could find an apartment. That is when she told me the story and I found her place to be a peaceful and relaxing. Kelly is an amazing woman who puts her heart and soul into making sure veterans have a great way to reduce their stress and just relax. What she does for veterans is amazing and we need more people like her in this world.

2 Brian120

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Got involved when I met Kelly and heard her story. Had to do what I could to help a Comrade in trouble. I have never seen anyone so dedicated to her mission than Kelly. She has and continues to touch many lives in the Military community and elsewhere. It is an honor and a privilege to work with her and to know her.

Precious R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the privilege to volunteer for My Warrior's Place. It is a place to bring healing and relief to families who have lost a loved one while serving our Country. I found the director to be committed to this organization and her determination to help others very inspiring. My family had the opportunity to help do some repairs at the place and we have donated to the cause at various times. This is a much needed organization.

Precious Rhea

Mike124

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have supported My Warrior's Place from the outset, after meeting Kelly Kowall and honoring her as a Gold Star Mother of a 82nd Airborne paratrooper who fell in Afghanistan. Our Tampa Bay Chapter of the 82nd ABN Association have made her a member. She has powerfully contributed to one of our annual projects to give a week of "R & R" to 2 active-duty paratroopers who have encountered combat trauma and lost comrades. She provides then with a fishing/sight-seeing boat trip in Tampa Bay and a kayak adventure in local streams. Very pleased that her "compound" is nearly complete and fully occupied at the moment

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is awesome! They really care and understand how the death of a brother in arms affects a soldier.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This place is awesome! It is great to know that the time spent volunteering will make a big difference in the lives of our Veterans, Military Service Members and Families of a Fallen Warrior. It is also nice to be able to do more than just say "thank you for your sacrifice and service" to those brave men and women who serve/served in the military.

Jean49

Donor

Rating: 5

I don't have any personal relations with My Warriors place, But I have a friend who was homeless, and her husband was ill, You took them in and gave them a place to stay ..
MY friend talks about this place all the time, and by what she says you deserve to receive an award ..

The pictures are so peaceful looking , Looks like a vacation place ..

Good luck with all your endeavors

Elie M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The day we moved to Florida my husband Ed, a Viet Nam Veteran had a heart attack. He had his 2nd triple bypass surgery and was not doing good. We were suppose to stay with our son while looking for a place to live but a family dispute had us with no where to go. Kelly took us in and we stayed in one of her trailers while Ed recuperated . We saw first hand the hard work Kelly and her volunteers did for the love of Veterans in honor of her son. We saw them build a fish pond, refurbish trailers, landscape, and going to meetings. My Warriors place has access to The Little Manatee River with a pier for fishing and boat launch. It was the perfect place for my husband to recuperate. These people care about Veterans and deserve to be considered for this award. Ellen Mc Manus

Marianne11

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to My Warrior's Place through my uncle Patrick Garland. As a family we've donated towards the court of flags and have engraved bricks for all family members that have served since my grandfather had in WWI (with the Irish army).

I had the privilege of visiting My Warrior's Place in May and am so impressed with the work that had been done since. What a wonderful place for our veterans to have and what a amazing woman Kelly is to have the heart to bring this project to fruition in light of all she has been through.

Donna152

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being a Blue Star Mother of a 100% service connected disabled son, I realize the importance of our wounded and recovering military and their families having a quiet place to recover. Kelly had a dream after her son was killed in action. She has worked hard to make this dream come true. My Warrior's Place has advanced from this dream to a reality. What began as a run down property on a river has become a place of beauty. The dream is not finished.....it has only begun.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My warriors place helps one of the biggest needs our nations troops have. Its a place to come to heal from the devastation of war or the families who have been affected by the loss of a loved one. The program development and work Kelly Kowall has done is truely touching. There is a serene environment and a beautiful water front view. The cottages are peacefull and very relaxing. There is a place to fish, work out and they are working on a conference room for more room for meetings and work shops. A much needed program for people who truley need healing.

1 Peer Support Specialist

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am one of Floridas first certified peer specialists for veterans. I volunteer at My Warrior's Place because there is no substitute for being able to heal in a protected and nurturing environment. The professional training that every member of this organization receives provides the support needed to assist active military, veterans and their families. The mentoring program and waterfront oasis help to transform each guest as they address their individual experiences.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

As one of the first veterans to go through the program, I truly believe that the need is real. I believe that this program will evolve into an resource to assist those veterans returning with unresolved issues. If you are out there and need assistance or want to be a part of something positive, this is a rewarding program that you need to look into.

Angel Marin
Retired MSG
US Army

"Bodyguard"
Commander
Latin Soldiers
Veteran motorcycle Association
(LSVMA)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

By the time Kelly Kowell finished telling the Apollo Beach Women's Club about "My Warriors Place" I was in tears. She started this wonderful retreat for soldiers, active and veterans, and their families after her son was killed by an IED. She started out alone. Now she has cottages for soldiers and their families on the Little Manatee River where they can relax and stay for a week-end or longer. They can go boating and fishing or just decompress by the river. She has set up a mentoring program to help with their adjustment to civilian life or just talk to others that know what they went thru. The fact that she started this by herself and now has teams of volunteers doing construction, landscaping and planning fundraisers just blows my away. I'm proud to say I help in a small way to do something for our Warriors.