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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

58 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.

Rudy M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was referred to TRR through the VA as a way of exercise and recreational therapy. On my first day of meetings TRR, I was warmly welcomed a nd made to feel as part of the family.
Learning to kayak has helped me stay focused on the present and our outings gives me something to look forward to. Getting into the water is both calming and exciting at the same time. At the end of the day, pulling the boats out of the water fills me with a sense of accomplishment and community that I wish could be shared with more people.
I hope you can join us on the water some day

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My Dad was a Air Force Veteran of 20 years. The Team River Runner(TRR) cause is dear to my heart for this reason. I very much enjoy volunteering as much as I can and support those who gave so much to our country.
TRR helps support those in need of a little and a lot. They have tailored a program to assist veterans in getting back to a team.

It's great to see veterans return to multiple events and become part of the TRR family.

James P.5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Team River Runner (Atlanta) has been an amazing asset/resource to those veterans who are looking to reinvent themselves. From outfitting to mentoring and every aspect in between TRR is a great organization.

David B.16

Client Served

Rating: 5

I appreciate team river runner for helping me get my son involved in whitewater paddling. I started paddling one summer before my son Nathan. I was overwhelmed at the prospect of trying to teach my son to paddle. I couldn’t even get down so called beginner rivers without swimming.

Then I learned about Team River Runner. We started going to the pool sessions in Chattanooga in November 2017. TRR volunteers helped me with my strokes and with refining my self taught roll. TRR volunteers taught Nathan how to roll and paddle his boat. That spring Nathan was ready to start paddling on moving water.

Without TRR it would have been much more difficult to get Nathan involved in whitewater paddling. Thank you TRR!

Client Served

Rating: 5

TRR is a wonderful organization for veterans and their families to become involved in paddle sports. I have met some wonderful people who really care for veterans and volunteer their time to instruct, support, and assist in many ways both on and off the water. The camaraderie is second to none and provides an avenue for veterans to share their stories and struggles with other like minded veterans.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner FT Benning has helped support retired and active duty veterans in Columbus, GA by introducing them whitewater activities.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This team has opened so many doors for me. Being stationed overseas as a single solider and no family sometimes can close you off to the world. But having this group around let me meet new people, experience new things, and provide a place and environment of morality and fun. Thankful to have this group!

1 Matthew Kebohale K.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My instructor Hume is an extremely good coach and helped me gain confidence in the pool and my first time in the river I was able to do a roll! Since joining, it’s been nice to have this group to socialize with and do something fun. It’s been a great opportunity to take my mind off of work and get me outdoors and doing different things with new people. Gettin in that kayak and running the rivers has definitely been a highlight of my time in Italy and I can’t wait to get back out there

1 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.

2

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great group, every effort to make new members feel welcomed and existing members to still feel part of the group. The lead really goes out of his way to make the group as good as it can possibly be for its members.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This non-profit is setup to help military vets with recovery by offering experiences and training in white water paddling. As part of this service the organization also trains future volunteers so that there is an adequate level of support for the vet.

I recently participated in two TRR programs, a two day swift water rescue training course and an open pool / roll clinic. Both programs were very good.

The Swift water rescue class was two full days consisting of both classroom and hands on in the water training. The instructors were very interesting and knowledgeable. I look forward to taking it again next year.

The open pool / roll clinic (Which is held most Sunday mornings at the Ron Rosner YMCA in Fredericksburg) was staffed by two outstanding certified instructors that always made me feel comfortable as I was taught the needed skills for safe and fun river running.

Great organization that is working for a great cause, staffed with very friendly, and knowledgeable staff.

Because of my experiences with this group I give my highest recommendation for the Fredericksburg chapter of the Team River Runners (TRR).

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization began by the love, care, and hard work of Joe and Nancy Mornini (teachers in Montgomery County, Maryland) who saw a need to help our most injured Vets find a mental and physical method for recovery. This comes with my highest ratings knowing funds are not only needed but will be used in ethically sound business decisions.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The April 28 - 30 2017 Eastern Regional Area Campout was absolutely awesome! We had a great time Kayak fishing and enjoying two beautiful lakes at Wilderness Presidential Resort in Spotsylvania VA. Over the weekend I think everyone who fished caught something! Fly tying and fly fishing was also popular. The whitewater folks had a great time, too, on the Rappahannock River. We got to meet many Team River Runner chapter members from West Virginia and Pennsylvania and like every TRR event everyone just seems like family. There was lots of laughing, talking, relaxing, and of course spending time on the water providing the companionship and therapy TRR is known for. Thanks to our regional coordinator, Lance, for all his hard work putting this event together, and to our participants and volunteers for an incredible weekend. Looking forward to next year's Campout!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with Team Riverrunner I've witnessed many positive changes in our veteran participants. From gaining physical strength to realizing potential to finding friendships, the organization turns the simple act of paddling a kayak into a way to regain functionality or just find enjoyment. TRR is all inclusive welcoming all vets and their family members and tailors the paddling experience to individual capabilities, wants, and needs. This is an awesome organization and I feel blessed to be a part of it.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few years ago while hanging out with paddlers from a local paddling club I saw a post on their web site asking for help with a Team Riverrunner event. Jim Riley, the coordinator of the S. E. Pa. chapter asked for volunteers to help with an upcoming white water trip. Specifically to help disabled vets move their gear to and from the water and with help getting in and out of their boats as needed. When I read the post my immediate thought was, "been there, done that". I spent the last 6 months of 1968 in Oakland Naval Hospital on a ward of 40. I was one of two patients that had all 4 limbs on that ward. I spent a lot of time helping my fellow patients get around. Piggy backing some, pushing wheel chairs, assisting getting on and off buses, etc. The most impacting memory is when I suggested to one of the patients that I had pushed to the hospital pool that I push him, still in his chair, into the deep end of the pool to see if he could wheel it across the bottom. He said, "do it". Short version... that event ended starting a lot of guys doing that and swimming and having fun. Guys that thought for the most part, life for them as they knew it was over and there was nothing they could do other than sit. It wasn't until I started working with TRR and met some of the therapists that I heard about 'Recreational Therapy' and realized that was what I was doing 39 yrs ago as a patient in a military hospital.
So when I saw Jim's post I contacted him and volunteered to help even though I really had no idea of what Team Riverrunner was all about. Since then I've become a member both as a disabled vet and volunteer and earned my Level 3 White Water Instructor Certificate from ACA 2 yrs. ago. I've worked as both instructor and safely boater on many, many trips and have also encouraged our chapter to start doing flat water trips to 'whet, or wet the appetites' of new paddlers. I'll be running those trips this summer. I've made countless friends from all over the country that are vets, volunteers, and therapists and keep in touch constantly. We work hard and play hard but I don't think I can really express how rewarding it is to see these guys and gals accomplish a goal such as running a river in a kayak with such great smiles and ramped up confidence. It's truly a reward that cannot be purchased with cash but your donations are what fund these trips and the gear needed to get our vets butts in boats. We truly thank you for your support!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started Voluteering with Team River Runner over a year ago. My favorite part is giving back to our Veterans who have sacrificed so much for us. I love teaching them the sport that I am passionate about. The willingness of the Veterans to learn is what motivates me keep helping and donating to this great organization.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic non-profit and everyone in the organization truly cares about serving veterans. This group gives an opportunity for veterans to learn a new hobby and experience the outdoors. TRR goes out of their way to accommodate and give returning veterans the best experience they can have kayaking.

Rob

2 B Huff

Client Served

Rating: 5

Following the loss of my leg and a stroke, TRR took me from a hospital bed & wheelchair into a kayak; taught me roll that kayak; then taught me to paddle that kayak down increasingly challenging whitewater until I was able to paddle some of the most difficult water in the country.
They didn't stop there! Through it all, TRR made sure I understood what I was being taught until I was competent enough to become a certified kayak instructor, myself. And it all came full circle, as I was able to introduce paddlesports to the "next generation" of injured service members.
Team River Runner saved me, gave me renewed purpose... and for that I will be forever grateful. See the videos below if you're not convinced

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Team River Runner has helped my autistic son more social and gives him something to look forward to each week. Moreover it has given my son and I an activity we can learn and and participate in together. We started just as a "good deal outreach" opportunity Team River Runner offers the Ft. Belvoir community, and it has turned into a family activity.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome experiences and great group! I learn something new every time I attend a session or outing.

5 Lance S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As the Fredericksburg Virginia Chapter Coordinator, Eastern Regional Area Coordinator, and newly appointed OJT Veteran Program Administrator I couldn't be more thrilled to be a part of this amazing Team River Runner organization.

From the very first day I started I could tell that Team River Runner truly cares not only about our Recovering Warriors, Disabled Veterans, and their family members, but also about how we represent ourselves as a program as we strive to be of service in whatever way that we can make a difference! Its about saying Yes we can help with that when saying No might be the easier path.

From the National Staff all the way down to the volunteers within each chapter it feels like a family and I'm so honored to be just a small part of it. On this day of inauguration and the desire to unite our great country I would highly recommend this program to everyone looking for a reason to get involved with something greater than themselves. Together we can make a difference!

3 Jeanine6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner has been a great inspiration and career enhancer. I knew nothing about kayaking but as a veteran and reservist, I knew that facing challenges and conquering fear would make me a better soldier. Also it was my first opportunity to volunteer to help wounded warriors which I might even be one day. I have learned a great deal from the dedicated leaders of TRR Fredericksburg Chapter. I always look forward to safely learning the skills needed to control the kayak as well as the rewards of helping others while using those skills.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner has been a great way to learn an exhilarating new sport, but also build fantastic camaraderie within the team.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Team River Runner (TRR) has provided me with tremendous knowledge and confidence regarding kayaking. Moreover, I have thoroughly enjoyed helping with my Red Cross certified therapy dog at TRR events; and even my dog has learned to ride in a kayak! I've met some terrific people there.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

First, they make you feel right at ease and very welcome when you first show. Then they help you through the paperwork and talk to; not just to get the necessary information, but to actually get to know you. Then everything they do starts with basic techniques and safety. They are a great bunch of folks doing great things. I direct everyone I know their way.

Chuck B.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5


I just completed the annual Team River Runner South East Outta Sight Clinic,
that was held at Nantahala Outdoor Center in NC. I would like to commend the teams staff for a phenomenal event. I'm a Army veteran and I suffer from PTSD. Laura Dillion was patient enough and paired me with Katie Kessler whom eased every anxiety imaginable, being that I can't swim! She taught me priceless safety/survivability techniques that has changed my insecurities with kayaking. Later durning the clinic I was paired with Moses Alley my river guide and he surpassed all of my expectations as he navigated us down the Nantahala River, the family-friendly rapids are mild but exciting all while mesmerized with scenic views throughout the river It's imperative for all... to link up with TRR and learn the basics of Kayaking and or become a volunteer as I'm adamant that your life will be forever changed.

Al Dobbs

3 Joe_88

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a veteran, I found something special with Team River Runner. They have provided an opportunity to revisit one of the aspects that I miss most from my days in the service -- camaraderie!

It brings me back to the days of "mandatory fun," except that it is not mandatory and it is actually fun.

TRR has provided an opportunity for both my daughter and I to spend time on the river, learn and advance new skills, and bond. The quality of people that we have met and worked with is unparalleled.

2 Zach14

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a Disabled Combat Vet, Multiple Tours, Special Operations / Civil Affair's / Infantryman: Ret US Army. 24 years 22 days.

PTSD/ Serious Depression, Suicidal, Anger: I've been paddling with TRR for over 4 years now. Whitewater Kayaker, ACA Level III White Water Instructor, NOC Certified Raft Guide, and now Co -Leader of the Fort Belvoir, VA TRR Chapter.

This is one of the BEST, places for Vet's who need HELP, to get help. Cuz, I am one who needed help,... I found the river, and the river keeps me going. TRR lets me give back to those, like me, who need Help. Whatever your issues, we have never not been able to get your "Butts in a Boat."

We operate on a shoe string budget:

2 Loren S.

Former staff

Rating: 5

Being not only a Veteran, but a person always looking for that since of belonging/team - Fredericksburg TRR has been a dream. That rare confluence of two great things, fellowship and the chance to help others. I love teaching others that true healing comes from helping others. The peace and tranquility of the water coming together with a challenge of an awesome sport. All of this has come from an awesome 501 C 3 charity that invited me in with nothing other than desire to give back to Veterans and their families. I am blessed to be apart of this group. Please come out and join us.

2 Geoff5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Team River Runner Fredericksburg VA is an amazing organization totally dedicated to providing fantastic kayaking opportunities to wounded, ill and injured service members, Veterans AND their families. TRR Fredericksburg was very welcoming right away and were very passionate about not only getting me in a kayak but also getting my wife and 7 yr old son in one as well. TRR Fredericksburg, in just a short 8 week period, worked diligently to get me ready to compete in the 2015 Triumph Games. All of the staff are very wonderful...volunteers are fantastic as well. I receive at least 1 email a week letting me know about the upcoming weekend's events and how to get involved. You really couldn't ask for a better organization.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a VET/ Volunteer . I found TRR as I was healing on Active Duty in the WTU. No amount of words can described how TRR has assisted in my physical and mental well being. I am constantly learning and growing my self by involvement. I am extremely blessed this organization and the people involved exist. I am always talking to my fellow VETs, Active Duty and others about the group.

3 JamesD13B10

Client Served

Rating: 5

I a 100% Total and Permanent Combat Wounded Disabled Veteran with TBI, PTS, Narcolepsy and Temporary Paralysis, Seizures and other undiagnosed Neurological issues, and if it had not been for Lance Sharp and Team River Runner Fredericksburg Chapter, I would never have gotten the opportunity to exercise in a safe and controlled environment. I had attempted Tai Chi, but I had problems with balance and would fall over. I had tried the VA move class both standing and simple marching and sitting, but I would collapse or not be able to get up and move afterwards, so they said it wasn't safe for me to exercise at all. Finally, when Team River Runner opened up their Fredericksburg Virginia Chapter, I was able to find someone who would allow me to exercise and test my abilities. I though for sure when I told Mr. Sharp all of my conditions he would tell me I couldn't safely participate. Instead it was the exact opposite, it took 3 people to help me get into and situated in the kayak, but they patiently helped me and before I knew it, I was in the water on a kayak; something I had loved doing, but hadn't been able to since my combat injury in 2002. They had multiple instructors and safety personnel so everyone felt safe and they teach everyone constantly going over roll over drills, wet exits, and something I had never seen before, T-River Rescue (when someone's kayak rolls over, another kayak literally comes over and T-'s your kayak so you can grab hold of their kayak's nose and lift yourself back up without ever getting out), really cool stuff! I got so advanced and progressed so quickly in my skills, that they sent me to a leadership course where I learned how to be and guide a blind kayaker; it is truly an amazing experience to yell "ON ME! ON ME!" and have someone who is completely blind follow your lead. I also got to meet so many other skilled wounded warrior kayakers that were missing arms or legs or hands; and with each instance, Joe Mornini, our National Director, would outfit an adaptive device to their kayak or their paddle, so everyone could participate and enjoy kayaking white water, ocean, or flat water. This organization operates completely on donations and simple intuitive know how adaptability; you have never seen what gorilla tape and a few nuts and bolts can make such an impact. Although I have struggled with transportation to get to the weekly YMCA pool training sessions and I have been on travel for work with my other favorite non-profit, the Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, who has given grants to help Team River Runner; I am looking forward to our big open water event down the Rappahannock River in the near future. Thank You Team River Runner for helping me not only exercise but also enjoy the quiet stillness of moving water in a kayak again. Please checkout TeamRiverRunner.org to see all that they are doing for Combat Wounded Veterans across the nation.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a non profit that serves the disabled and visually impaired it has been great working with Team River Runner. They enable us to get our veterans out on the water kayaking. They have been awesome!!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Helping Recovering Warriors and Vets to heal! Just continue to expand and spread the word so that others can benefit from this wonderful program!

3 LSharp

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a retired veteran myself I know that Freedom isn't Free, so I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to continue to serve by giving back through such a beneficial program like Team River Runner. We have the pleasure to work with Recovering Warriors, Disabled Vets, and their family members as they travel down the river to recovery through paddle sports (Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boards, Canoeing, Kayak Fishing, etc). By providing a safe and comfortable environment for our participants to resocialize they begin to open up and heal with others who may have experienced similar events through their service to our great country. My chapters motto is: "Serving those who have given so much by Never Forgetting their Sacrifice!", and I've personally seen what a difference this program can make not only to the participants, but to their families and the volunteers as well. If you've ever asked yourself how can I make a difference then now's the time to put your thoughts into motion and get involved! Give us a call, send us an email, or become an annual sponsor of a local chapter or by making an individual donation. We look forward to working with you as we continue to help our participants thrive and enjoy life!

Lance Sharp - Team River Runner Greater D.C. and Va Regional Area Coordinator and Fredericksburg Chapter Program Coordinator.

4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I lost my left leg below the knee 4 years ago. Thought I may never get to kayak again. The group , Team River Runners, helped me get the nerve to get back on the river. After paddling with them the first time I was so pumped that I was able to kayak still that I felt I had to give back in some way. I donated an unused paddling jacket and though it pales in comparison to what they have given back to me, I don't have enough to give. Through them I have met an awesome group of people who have given so much to our country and to me personally. Thank you Team River Runner. This has been the best paddling season I have had in over 15 years.

Review from #MyGivingStory

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a Vietnam War era veteran and have been involved with Team River Runner (chapter of DSUSA) for over six years. Team River Runner (TRR) provides “health and healing for military injured, active duty, and disabled Veterans of our community through therapeutic kayaking”, from quiet paddling on calm flat water for peace and connection to nature, to paddling exciting and demanding whitewater rapids. The program is physically demanding and socially supportive to help participants develop a lifestyle of fitness and outdoor adventure. TRR works with many disabilities from PTSD, TBI (traumatic brain Injury), amputees, spinal injuries, and blindness/vision impairment.

Review from Guidestar