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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Child Day Care, Children & Youth, Philanthropy, Public Foundations, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: The C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation believes every child is worth celebrating, can overcome limitations and have a victorious day. Through a joyful day of fishing, kids, their families and community volunteers come together for an explosion of fun and inspiration. We host annual fishing and boating events across America.

Geographic areas served: National

Programs: C. A. S. T. For kids - these events are held nationally for children with special needs and disadvantages and are partially sponsored by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. Participation ranges between 30 and 250 participants. Approximately sixty-five events are held annually with about 3,000 participants.

Fishing Kids - there are two fishing kids events held each year in Washington state. The Renton event had 400 participants and the Bremerton event hosts 300 participants.

Take a Warrior Fishing events: conduct fishing events for active military, targeting wounded soldiers.

Community Stories

47 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I’ve been able to experience two C.A.S.T for Kids events and I must say that they are inspiring. They are caring for the those who are normally cast out or forgotten. They are giving the gift of memories and joy to these kids who likely have never had an experience fishing. Their events are well done, and not just for the sake of being professional, but because a well-running event shows how much they value those kids. All around, this organization is doing amazing things and deserves recognition and participation. What an amazing thing! This is a picture from an event in the South.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a donor to C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation now for about 6 years. I hired Jim Behnken for guide trips on Falcon lake and he introduced me to the foundation. He and I have become strong friends and now he is a full time employee of the foundation.
As a result I am very aware of the amount of time and effort he and the other members of the foundation and their supporters put in to make these events happen for the kids. While I have not attended any events I have seen scores of videos showing the kids and the remarkable impact these events have on them. With all the negative press easily found on "sham" charitable foundations It is refreshing to know my donations go directly to the production of these events for the kids. It clearly makes a positive impact on the kids and gives me great pride to be a part of it. Anyone reading this - please reach out and make a donation to this great cause.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about CAST for Kids or Fishing Kids... I have been helping as a volunteer off and on for over 20 years and was hooked like a bass on a fat juicy nightcrawler after my very first interaction with them in the late 1990's.

I am now a fisheries biologist and love working with kids events and it is my personal goal to help 10,000 kids catch their first fish... among many other groups I work with, CAST For KIds and Fishing Kids helps keep that goal achievable.

Two springs ago I was able to participate with them at Island Lake near Silverdale Washington at a Fishing Kids event... what was really cool is for my first time I was able to have my brother Brian help as well as my nephew Max help... remember the fat juicy nightcrawler... I got them hooked, hook line and sinker!

What really capped off the day for me was when I had helped a little boy and girl catch their "first fish ever in the whole world"and was later finishing up and chatting with their mom. She had asked where she was to return the tackle boxes and poles when I explained they were hers to keep so the kids could continue fishing... she was overwhelmed and stated she had always wanted to take her kids fishing but as a single mother had no idea as to how to or where to and had no-one to show her. It just so happened that she lived close by and my nephew and brother( whom both had just inhaled a nightcrawler) lived just miles from her and is the Port Commisioner for the Port of Keyport... I introduced them and the invitation to fish off the pier was on!

This is just one of many great stories I could share with you about these events... an amazing group and one that changes kids one fish at a time.

I have a dear friend Don Collens who is in the Wildcat Steelhead Club in Sedro Woolley who has a saying, "it isn't the kid who catches the fish but rather the fish that catches the kid". It is so true... I have seen kids lives changed just because they had someone volunteer some timet to take and show them how to fish, show they mattered, and that little one had their eyes opened into a whole new world of the great outdoors!

Thank you again CAST for Kids! You keep me a kid even though I am way older than most other kids who play in the lake!

Advisor

Rating: 5

Biggest kick that made my day at this event was when parents thanked me and my fellow volunteers for giving their child the opportunity to catch a fish as well as making this possible for their kids. Seeing the smiles and reactions of the kids either catching a fish or getting their plaques was absolutely priceless. I will do it again and again as long as I am permitted to do so.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer for the CAST FOR KIDS event here in Tyler Texas. I have had a wonderful experience watching these kids enjoy one of the biggest days of their lives.

All are smiles, including their parents, at the end of the event , telling stories about riding in a boat or catching fish for the first times in their lives.

It was a win win experience for all of us.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

CAST for Kids is an organization committed to a simple mission: providing a day of recreation to kids that have limited opportunities to enjoy the outdoors due to illness or other obstacles. Although there are numerous barriers that have to be properly addressed the CAST staff and nationwide network of longtime volunteers have developed a program that has proven to provide a unique and exceptional day of fun. The kids get to just be kids for a day and anyone who attends a CAST event will never look at life through the same lens again. CAST is a life changer!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I volunteered as a boater and also donated some tackle and helped get life jackets together for our first event my friends and I helped put together. It was a great success and these kids are truly super happy to get out and catch some fish.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past three years I have served as a volunteer at the Cast for Kids event at Hagg Lake in Oregon. All three times I had a great time – the event was well organized, the volunteers were enthusiastic, and the participants were thrilled to be going for a boat ride – as well as going fishing.

By creating the opportunity for children with special needs to experience the outdoors in a safe and supportive environment, Cast for Kids nurtures their imagination, promotes their physical and mental well being, and helps ensure that all of our children have the right to experience the natural world.

Two thumbs way up!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CAST for Kids provides opportunities for special needs children and parents to take a break from their everyday routines. Many of these kids would never get an opportunity to go in a boat and fish.
CAST for Kids is special organization that creates life long memories for those involved. Keep up the great work !

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CAST for Kids is a "heart touching" charity. I have had the pleasure of volunteering with friends and family at 3 events. The events were so organized and so generous. I will never forget the smiles and the joy of watching the kids pose with their fish and trophies. These kids are precious. We need more charities like CAST for kids.
Thank you CAST!!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been to several CAST for Kids events over the years, and they are a wonderful experience for everyone involved. The kids obviously love it as they are the center of everyone's attention for the day. Their parents are deeply touched by all the generosity that is poured out on their children by all the volunteers. And of course, my volunteer friends and I always feel plenty of gratification at the end of the day for getting to share the joy of fishing with those less fortunate.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CAST for kids is one of the greatest organizations I have had the pleasure of being involved in. Since 2004 I have volunteered with my family at lake Calaveras in Texas. CAST changes lives and gives children and their families a day to completely forget what's going on back at home. Over the years I have seen children start the day scared of fishing but by the end, completely loving it and having a blast! Parents and friends of these children walking up to the volunteers with tears in their eyes thankinf them for showing their children a wonderful time. I am honored to be apart of such a great organization.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization that is well run and exceeds expectations!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for C.A.S.T. for Kids and am a donor. To see the excitement in the children's faces is worth the time and money I have spent! The kids love it! I get as much out of it as they do. I take the photos of each child and their boat captain and both are always grinning ear to ear! This is truly a nonprofit worth supporting. My husband and daughter volunteer at the event so it is a great way to support this charity "as a family"!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

While there are many great organizations to volunteer for, our time to do so is very limited. Thirteen years ago Byron and I discovered C.A.S.T. for Kids from Jim Behnken who asked if we were interested and did so. We were so excited about how the program was all about the kids and giving so much more back to them with great learning skills with enthusiasm. While it is a tremendous task to get children out of their comfort zone and into the field the C.A.S.T. team and volunteers make it a fun and educational day. It is such a Special Thrill to watch a child learn how to fish, and be able to go home with a fishing pole, plaque with their picture on it holding their fish and all the memories. In turn we get a SPECIAL THRILL !!!!!

Sincerely,
Sandy & Byron Saunders

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

From everything I have learned about C.A.S.T., is that they are in it for the kids, not just any kids, but kids with Special Needs who are often neglected when it comes to activities, especially fishing. Volunteering at an event in our town this year was a lot of hard work, but the reward was so worth it. Seeing those kids come off the water with Smiles as big as you could see was special! C.A.S.T does everything possible to make these kids and their families feel special and the funds are used to help make the events a big success!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Un unbelievable non profit who positively impacts the lifes of the special needs community. 25 year anniversary this year says it all. Thousands of children blessed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

By far, some of the best experiences of my life have been the times I'm wearing a CAST shirt. Amazing foundation bringing so much to so many.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is about grown men taking handicapped children out in their boats and teaching them how to fish. The questions is. Who's getting the most out of this experience? The child or that OL Fisherman!You have to attend a CAST event! It could change your life. It did mine. I married one of those "OL Fisherman"!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 5 yr old autistic son had a great day with a "fishing mentor". He went on the boat with his private volunteer and enjoyed a day at sea. He was allowed to bring his family members and was introduced to fishing and boating for the first time. The volunteer was very patient and helpful. After they had a bbq and everyone got awards. It was great!