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Team River Runner

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Health Care, Military & Veterans Organizations, Recreation & Sports, Sports, Veterans

Mission: To promote health and healing for disabled veterans through paddlesports and other related activities. This includes working in partnership with disabled sports usa to assist recuperating veterans at walter reed national military medical center and other comparable facilities throughout the united states.

Target demographics: Our nation's wounded and disabled veterans, active duty service members and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: Over 2,000 veterans

Geographic areas served: 54 Chapters in over 30 states

Programs: adaptive and inclusive adventure kayaking

Community Stories

50 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Daniela P.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lance, Bobby and Pam were extremely helpful. They gave explicit instructions, calmly explained points of confusion and made the training fun, an unexpected part of the Sunday training. Very welcoming and encouraged follow-on training. Definitely a well-spent day on the weekend and am excited for upcoming events with the Fredericksburg Chapter of Team River Runner.

Bob T.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is Bob Tracy, TRR Boise Chapter Coordinator. WE founded the Boise Chapter 6 years ago, and it has been exceptionally rewarding to be able to help support our veterans in need. We not only teach and guide kayaking, we also have a community of caring and support to help vets with their health and healing. I also would like to speak highly about the OJT program. We have now had 5 vets go through the program, and they are all now active leaders within our chapter. The OJT programs has provided a way to help them build the skills and knowledge to become effective leaders, and by them becoming leaders it has enabled our chapter to also become much more effective.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner not only trains veterans to kayak, but it creates a warm, welcoming community and environment for learning. I've loved being part of this organization for the last several years and it's so rewarding to see the positive impact it's had on veteran participants, especially those with PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injuries, and physical limitations/adaptive paddling.

This is the organization that took 5 blind whitewater kayakers down the most challenging rapids on the Grand Canyon - no small feat - and continues to plan more amazing expeditions like this. TRR enables wounded vets to exceed their own expectations of what life can be like post injury.

1 Michael D.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Team River Runner is an in incredible group of volunteers who are doing a fantastic service introducing veterans to kayaking sports. I'm very happy and thankful for my experience with them, and look forward more!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Saved this Disabled Veteran Life. I am an amputee. Depressed and no reason to live.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Vietnam veteran a Team River Runner volunteer instructor I can attest that we have made a meaningful contribution to the mental and physical health of Wounded Warriors. I have personally coached triple amputees and guided blind veterans in kayaks on whitewater and witnessed the pleasure that these men and women have experienced.

1 Dana77

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Pictures speak a thousand words so that is what ill choose to share

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From Volunteering to becoming a Staff member the past 10 years with Team River Runner have been my absolute best. This is so much more than an organization, this is a family of dedicated and genuine Staff, Volunteers, and Participants.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

My name is Susan Schaffer. I enjoy getting to know people, so when I met our Chapter leader at a Veterans Expo I am quite sure that my interest was not typical. I saw the opportunity to broaden the scope of my usual disability awareness programs to include veterans also. I was and still am excited to spread the word about a non-traditional way to help vets. I have more ideas to grow this experience. Although it's voluntary it requires the same tasks as in my paid outreach position.

2 Brenda Marie B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Susquehanna Valley Team River Runner allowed my husband, Clay, a one armed amputee, to learn to kayak! The organization and it's members participated in Penn State's Rec Fest recently and it was our first time attending the event. They taught Clay to use an adaptive kayak with a Paddle Pivot in order for him to be able navigate through the water. It was amazing! A nearly 60 year old man got to realize a dream! Their work to enable is awesome!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner offers an important opportunity for veterans in recovery from the wounds of war, visible and invisible, to connect with a supportive and positive community, a healthful and lifegiving outdoor activity, and a network of fellow veterans to support their mutual journey.

I have volunteered with Team River Runner since 2013, and have seen lives changed in beautiful and amazing ways.

No one, whether veteran or civilian, paddler or volunteer, walks away from one of our sessions the same person they were when they walked in. River therapy is transformative, the best of medicines.

1 Shannon D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Seeing folks transform their apprehension (from the first pool session) into relaxed confidence on the water is an amazing experience. The friendships made and the skills learned are irreplaceable. I encourage all vets to take advantage of this program!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Instant family! My son has spent the past 2 years in hospitals and rehabs, and given the nature of his injuries, is now challenged in every way. The ingenuity and care of this group allowed him to kayak safely to his heart's content, and experience once again the freedom of the outdoors as the guy he once was. Truly a gift!

1 Tammy B.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team river runner has done so much for my life in these past 2 years and I'm excited to see what the future will bring. They are an amazing group of volunteers and veterans, who want veterans thrive on and off the water.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was going through the toughest season in my entire life when I came across team RiverRunner. I had never been in a kayak before and wasn’t even sure it was something I would be able to do with my visual impairment, but my extreme love for anything on the water nudged me to investigate this hobby further. I have never been able to fully participate in boating or other water sports, so a tiny sliver of doubt was there. But I decided during this tough time that I would take up a new hobby for myself. I looked into kayaking, joined some Facebook groups, and decided Kayaking seemed perfect. So I put some feelers out and told people I was interested, let them know of my limitations, and hoped for the best. Someone recommended to me that there was an organization called team river runner who worked with people who have disabilities. This seemed like a perfect option to get me out on the water and introduced to kayaking. So I contacted team river runner and within just a few days someone had got back in touch with me and a meeting was arranged. A volunteer actually came down to my area with two kayaks and took me out for the very first time. It was the most freeing experience I think I have ever had on the water. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have been out twice now with team River Runner. I even bought my own kayak. This sport has given me such a freedom and independence that I never thought I could have on the water. I am so grateful for team River Runner and their kind volunteers and all of the opportunities they provide to get out on the water and kayak with such wonderful people.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They were extremely helpful, friendly, and made the training so interactive and worthwhile!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization dedicated to helping veterans and the local community. All of the staff were very knowledgable and went above and beyond to make sure everyone got good training, while focusing on safety.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome people and program for us recovering and recovered Vets. Families welcome and Volunteers always the best!!
Thank you TRR

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner has been an amazing experience for not only myself, but for the entire family! Not only did it help me as a Vet to find myself again, and provide an experience that brings peace and happiness to me but it has allowed us to grow closer as a family. The adventures that TRR has allowed us to participate in, allows us the opportunity to spend quality time together. And..... not only has TRR provided this for us, it has also allowed us as a family to work with other Vets and their families to provide them with the same opportunities.
Thank you TRR for all you have done for us and for other Service Members and Families.

3 Bill B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't begin to say what good this program has done for me in particular, and my many friends in general. Water is such a healing medium. It can be calming. It can be challenging. It can scare you near to death, but afterward, what do you need? A drink of water.

By putting Veterans in Kayaks in water, TRR transforms people from broken shells to people who find freedom , healing, and camaraderie. 90 cents or so of every dollar goes to the Veterans and TRR can stretch those dollars like taffy!

I'm proud to be associated with TRR

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner (TRR) has helped me in more ways than I think I can name. So, let’s talk about the big one – TRR has helped me to heal.

You might not be able to see it when you meet me, but I am a little bit broken from my time in the Military. Sure, I have all the normal aches and pains that comes with the challenge of serving one’s country and those tend to slow me down a little, but there are some other injuries you simply don’t see when you look my way.

My experiences in the 82nd Airborne Division left me with some unseen injuries: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and mild Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). As I age, the effects of these seem to creep in more and more to my daily life. Frankly, for a while there, things got pretty dark and scary.

My family and friends have been super-supportive, and I am very thankful for them, but there was a deep, dark trench across my path to recovery that kept me from being able to really heal. Those who were close to me could empathize, sympathize, lend an ear, but they simply couldn’t understand what I was really going through. The safety they provided me got me to that trench, but couldn’t get me across it.

TRR helped to bridge that trench.

As I got more and more involved in TRR, I met more and more people who shared a story similar to mine. I could talk frankly with them, watch them get up to that trench and somehow cross it. I watched some struggle harder than me and watched others succeed and grow and I thought, why not me? And, as I walked beside a couple of my closest friends as they struggled, I began to realize that it was not up to me to make a daring leap across this unknown chasm. I began to realize that my friends were laying bridges across the trench so I could cross in safety.

So, you might see a bunch of Veterans paddling down a river or across a lake, laughing and joking with one another and think, “how nice.” But what you don’t realize is that these paddlers are actually facilitating some incredible healing. Being able to share in these stories and be part of another person’s healing is an incredibly healing experience. All the counselors and medications in the world sometimes pales in comparison to just having the ear of someone who’s been there…who can understand the unspoken pieces of the story.

Thank you, Team River Runner!

Bill Butler

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Team River Runner (TRR) is a valuable non-profit organization with chapters all across the country. The mission of TRR is to provide all veterans and their families an opportunity to find health, healing, community purpose, and new challenges through adventure and adaptive paddle sports. When veterans return home, they benefit from recreational activities that integrate them with others. Team River Runner National - guides regional chapters, offering networking, resources, and support so that programs deliver safe, consistent and quality adaptive paddling. The Blue Ridge~Shenandoah Chapter of TRR is one of many that serves veterans and their families providing therapeutic support.