I volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters and I have a 10 year old girl who I mentor. I am constantly looking for creative and affordable things to do with her to bond as well as help her learn and grow and get involved in the community. When I contacted Sails Angels they were extremely responsive and were willing to get us out on the river in November with less than a week notice. We were taken around the river for about 3 hours, and they were able to keep the girl I mentor engaged the entire time! They taught about wildlife in a fun way, taking us to view black vultures and other birds along the way. Without it feeling like a history lecture, Sails Angels taught us about the rich history along the river and in Richmond - about original explorers, early settlements, civil war battles, and old factories - all while keeping us engaged through activities like getting of the boat to collect water from a cold spring or explore a little island. Having the James River in our cities backyard is wonderful, and having an incredible organization in Sails Angels is a blessing to be able to affordably explore the rich wildlife, history, and appreciation for nature. Sails Angels helps the community with a big heart and warm welcome to the river, and we can't wait to come back and explore some of the other activities they provide.
As a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I greatly appreciate the opportunities offered to my little and me through this great organization. We had the pleasure of spending a few hours with Tom learning about Richmond and nature while canoeing on the James. My little and I felt safe and learned a great deal about the area. Tom was knowledgeable, friendly, helpful and patient! We are definitely going back when the weather warms up. I look forward to going with my little and others to kayak, volunteer and take nature walks! Tom is awesome and I thank him for making our time one to remember, as well as, creating this opportunity for others to enjoy!
If you are looking for a hands-on way to get your family involved in cleaning up and learning a TON about the James River and her history, this is the group for you! My son and I started volunteering with Tom a little over a year ago, and the whole experience has been so great for our whole family. My daughter and husband have also gotten involved along the way. Tom is a welcoming and engaging leader, and we always leave wanting to go back as soon as possible.
I met Tom May 2016 through my insurance fraternity at Virginia Commonwealth University. I have since been going out there as often as my school and work schedule allows. Every time I go out there I learn something new. It is also a great place to go and connect back with nature. I believe it's also the best place to learn more about the river and some of the history of Richmond. Tom has so much knowledge about the area and outside of it. I look forward to continue to go out on the river with Tom, help try to clean it up more, and learn everything he knows to teach myself and the others that come out.
I have visited Sails Angels several times so far this year. The child I mentor and I have had wonderful times with Tom Lewis and one of his volunteers, Amanda. Tom clearly has a wealth of knowledge about the river and nature in general, as well as a passion for working with kids. So far we have gone canoe sailing, kayaking, swimming in the river and paddle boarding. Tom even bought us brownies and shared his lunch. We could not have asked for better experiences and plan to continue going back to learn more about the James River.