William Dunn from Lakeland, Florida noticed one day that his 8 year old neighbor kept storming in and out of his own house across the street and asked him what was going on out of concern.
The boy ended up telling him that "he didn't have a father, and I realized there might be something I could do for him." Dunn used to fish with his father growing up, which brought him peace and taught him patience. So one day, Dunn, who is a father of three, reached out to the young boys mom to ask if he could take him fishing.
What started out as one Saturday afternoon fishing turned into Dunn teaching the boys' friend and other school kids the basics of fishing such as how to hold a fishing pole, rig a line, and reel in a catch. It's been 15 years since he did this and to this day he now takes groups of kids fishing on the weekends. Dunn would take a chunk of his salary from his job to fund the fishing trips, but in 2018 he started a nonprofit called Take A Kid Fishing Inc. in Lakeland.
“They’d been through a lot and they’d seen a lot, and their lives were difficult,” Dunn said. “But when they were fishing, all of that faded away.”
Since then, Dunn and volunteers have introduced over 2,500 kids to fishing trips and each kid in the program gets their own fishing poles and tackle boxes. The most important thing that this nonprofit and Dunn do is help the kids build relationships and heal while they're out on the water fishing. Click here to read more on Dunn and go to Take A Kid Fishing website to learn more.