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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Military & Veterans Organizations, Rehabilitative Care, Veterans

Mission: Through the experience of fly fishing in Montana, Warriors and Quiet Waters Foundation is a catalyst for positive change in the lives of post-9/11 combat veterans.

Results: All therapeutic programs are based out of Quiet Waters Ranch, 112 peaceful acres near the base of the Bridger Mountains. After undergoing ADA-accessible renovations, Barnard Lodge (the main home at Quiet Waters Ranch) guarantees every program participant an experience devoid of physical barriers in which to promote healing and resilience throughout participation in a therapeutic Fishing Experience. Recruiting methods are evolving in an effort to meet the ever changing needs of post-9/11 combat veterans and their families. WQW has also expanded programming to serve military caregivers, spouses, and active duty special operations military personnel, recognizing the positive impact a Fishing Experience has upon service members who continue to experience high stress and kinetic environments. Since 2007, WQW has provided over 705 Fishing Experiences to combat veterans and spouses/caregivers from across the nation.

Target demographics: Post-9/11 combat veterans with visible and unseen wounds who are committed to creating positive change in their lives.

Direct beneficiaries per year: In 2018 WQW anticipates serving 104 warriors and spouess/caregivers from across the nation.

Geographic areas served: While programs are based in Bozeman, Montana, WQW serves post-9/11 combat veterans from across the country at no cost to the participant.

Programs: Six-day fly Fishing Experiences that provide warriors with camaraderie, professional fly fishing instruction, and respite. Evidence-based outcomes in the realms of resilience, well being, and quality of life have pushed WQW to develop programs for couples, alumni mentors, female combat veterans, military caregivers, and alumni interested in a year-long professional coaching opportunity.

Community Stories

23 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a veteran that first experienced the program as a participant. It came at a time when I had been retired and struggling away from military life and fellow veterans. The fishing is a focus for WQW, but for those who attend, it is more than that. For me it was a weeks worth of mental recordings, that allowed me to play back when I would have rough days. The people who run the program, the volunteers, and the guides, do an outstanding job! I still keep in contact with my guide.
I was able to go back the following year with my wife. The program is always adapting to the needs of the veterans. I was the companion to my wife. They taught her how to fly fish. That was a miracle! It was another great bonding experience between my wife and i, and our bonding with other military couples.
The bottom line is there is no stress or pressure to fish or do other activities. No group or couples sessions. Just the ability to enjoy nature in the best possible way, fly fishing with other wounded veterans. Now, I begin the journey to volunteer for them.

Ken W.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

An FX with Warriors and Quiet Waters is a life-changing experience for a combat veteran. It’s not about the fishing, though it is both wonderful and therapeutic - it’s about the family of great volunteers that support the warriors during and after the event. Truly remarkable.

Ashley Anne S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was such a life changing experience. I was part of the first Caregiver’s FX in 2018. Everyone involved was so amazing and Iearned a new skill that I was able to bring back and share with my family. It has encouraged us to get out more and find more peace in our lives. Everyone involved in the program is amazing. They truly get it. The ranch is warm and inviting. Our guides were world class. Our Moms and other support were incredible. I highly recommend this opportunity to others and it is one of the best nonprofits if not the best that someone could be involved with or support.

Fishing photos by Sgt Mac.

Brian P.3

Donor

Rating: 5

Comforting to know there is such an organization such as WQW that serve our nations Warriors in their time of need. As a veteran myself, I'm proud to say I have a friend whom guides for this foundation whom himself is a veteran. He and his 4 legged companion have such a passion for their work in serving fellow vets through the flyrod and reel. Hats off to this incredible organization. Well done!

Ryan Patrick L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a veteran and a volunteer for WQW, I can say with out reservation that the work this organization does for post 9-11 combat vets is second to none. Their dedicated staff is focused on one thing and one thing alone: the warrior and his rehabilitative experience while attending one of their FXs. Bravo Zulu!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Warriors and Quiet Waters is a top notch foundation. As an alumni they helped me in so many ways that meer words cant do enough justice to show how great they are. The best word I can use I guess would be family. From the moment you arrive in Montana the staff and volunteers treat you as if you were a member of their own family. I've never felt that from complete strangers before. As a combat vet wounded in Afghanistan it showed me exactly what my sacrifices were for. Hopefully these words will compel people to donate to such a worthy organization. With veteran suicide rates at such high levels I truly believe what they do saves lives. Please donate or volunteer. Trust me when I tell you it is worth it.

MaryGrace D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I are honored to work with WQW...serving those who have served us is so humbling and seeing the benefits is so rewarding!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Excellent organization that really cares about the veteran community.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This org provides what was for me a life changing experience. They showed me a love for the outdoors in a way I had never experienced before. On top of that, they have it down to a science, from putting the right groups together to scheduling the time spent at the ranch, everything is executed perfectly

Jackson M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Most awesome experience ever the staff, volunteers, companions are the best. I have been in the Army for 21yrs with 9 deployments and this is hands down the best organization I have ever had the privilege to participate in and would love to be reinvented for the spouse trip as I believe my wife would learn why I love fishing so much thank you WQW.

John H.8

Client Served

Rating: 5

Love this group! They take great care of warriors and their families. I send as many people to this group as I can.

mous9577

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been honored to volunteer with WQW on three of their fishing trips so far and cannot sing enough praise. Well run, well supported and well organized this non-profit raises the bar for organizations looking to make a meaningful impact on their community. Pulling people from all geographic, demographic and cultural backgrounds this non-profit unites people under the cause of warrior relaxation and healing and manifests some of the most cohesive teams as a result. I cannot say enough great things about this organization and sincerely look forward to volunteering for another couple of fishing trips this next year. Strongly recommend!

Thomas N.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an awesome organization. It is well run by a knowledgeable and caring staff. Best of all, it is having an amazingly positive impact on the women and men who have faithfully served this country who can benefit from a unique opportunity to relax, connect and learn to fly fish in the Last Best Place - Montana!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the best non-profit organization helping post 9-11 combat veterans in America, and I am glad to be a part of the volunteer group that supports their efforts. Have personally seen the changes brought about by a week of learning how to fly fish in beautiful Montana, and the results are awe inspiring. Keep up the good work!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve worked with a handful of nonprofits over the years. Warriors and Quiet Waters is the best I’ve ever seen. Not only the experience and life changing attitudes, but they stand behind their mission and support their Warriors. To the point that the director of warrior services will show up in the ER to sit with one of his alumni. I’m honored to have been a part of this program, and hope to continue the legacy of serving my brothers.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It really is an honor to be a volunteer for Warriors & Quiet Waters Foundation. I get a chance to meet and support these brave veterans as they connect with each other and enjoy Montana's beautiful outdoors. There's a sense if peace that goes with fly fishing, as you focus on the water and, at least for a time, leave your other troubles behind. You can see this happen as the week goes on and they really get into the fishing. Rewarding doesn't begin to describe my experience, as I think I get at least as much out of it as the warriors do. I'm looking forward already to next year.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was privileged to be a volunteer "Mom" on the first FX for Caregivers. Warriors & Quiet Waters gave these caregivers the opportunity to have time to focus on themselves for a change....and in turn, made them better caregivers for their warrior spouses. This organization has the veterans...and now their caregivers...as their focus, Outstanding!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as part of a team of "moms who cook" this past spring over a 4 day fly fishing experience. Our team of 4 prepared breakfast and dinner for the warriors, companions and guides (18-24 persons) . The program is so well organized -- not only for its participants, but also for its volunteers. Orientation/training is detailed, yet simple; expectations are clear and easy to meet.
To begin to know these warriors and volunteer companions (often vets themselves) who gave so much and to prepare meals which we'd all enjoy together was such a wonderful gift. To notice the positive changes in these warriors (courtesy of Montana serenity and fly fishing) over the several days we were with them gave proof to the success of this mission.
I can't wait to volunteer again next year!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My FX with Warriors and Quiet Waters was nothing short of amazing. As an active duty combat wounded special operator with numerous combat deployments and more to come, finding time to stop, relax, and center is difficult. WQW taught me a way to reset in nature - fly fishing - and did it with the kindest group of volunteers you could ever hope to meet. I hope I can give back a fraction of what WQW gave me.

2 okchristi

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! I had the opportunity to be on their first caregiver FX and couldn't be more blessed! I walked away with more confidence in myself, a better sense of pride and so many new friends. Thank you isn't enough!