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Because the Battle Doesn't End on the Battlefield

Over the past few months, we have been working to gain the support necessary to provide our services to veterans that need to get away from things that may have followed them home from the battlefield. We have created a GoFundMe page that has seen very little activity and we have received a number of commitments that have simply never materialized. I continue to explore various fundraising opportunities and push for the support necessary to maintain our operations as we submit our application to the IRS for 501c3 non-profit approval. We currently have no paid employees and all donations received go to the organization, yet most of our operating expenses still come from the pockets of myself and one of our board members.

As I ponder where I can improve our efforts and why we are struggling to gain the support we need, I begin to realize that many people may not understand what it is that we do and what our overall goal for the organization is. Since this is our first year and the obstacles that we have to overcome are plenty, my expectation for support was pretty low. However, I will admit that I had hoped we could achieve donations to exceed $10,000 by the end of the year to cover basic operating and maintenance costs. Since our start in February, we have received less than $2,750 in monetary support.

Although we have made a few trips with our veterans, the real potential of the organization has yet to be seen. One of our goals is to provide jobs for disabled veterans, working within the organization as charter captains, first mates and repair technicians. It will take us some time to get there, because this can only be done with outside support. However, this is not our greatest goal, which is more aligned as our purpose.

Our purpose is to provide a recreational outlet for our veterans that have experienced physical and emotional trauma due to military service, regardless of what branch of service they have served in. We also provide our services regardless of the approach taken to military service, whether it be active duty, Reserves or National Guard. With 22 veteran suicides a day, we are purpose driven to reduce that number through the services we provide. Over the next 6 months, Casting for a Cause will be building a volunteer staff of like-minded Chaplains and Counselors to be available to our veterans confidentially at no cost. We will also begin working with veteran suicide prevention organizations to ensure our services are made available to those who continue to fight, even while away from the battlefield.

We would like to ensure any active duty service member or veteran experiencing inner struggles knows that we are here for them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We care about them, we care what happens to them, and we want them to know that we are here to listen and provide the assistance necessary for them to feel value in themselves. It's not uncommon for them to feel shunned by their own families because no one seems to understand the anguish they may be experiencing. Quite surprisingly, many families expect our service members to return from the battlefield the same way the left for the battlefield, but most often that simply is not the case. War often takes its toll on the mental, physical and emotional well-being of our loved ones. Knowing how to deal with it and rise above it is key to maintaining the bond that was shared prior to their battlefield experience.

We at Casting for a Cause know that families are also impacted by the struggles of war and we want to ensure that we are providing services to them as well. Whether they are gold star families that have lost someone due to battle, blue star families of someone currently serving overseas or the family members of someone who has lost their battle to PTSD, our services are also for them.

As we continue to push towards our goals, we ask that you consider in thought and in prayer any opportunity that you may have to provide support. We continue to look for supporters, sponsors and partners as we grow the organization. 2021 promises to build momentum as we see a surge in the number of requests from veterans for fishing opportunities, fly-fishing instruction, learn to build lures, tie flies or construct nets. Conversations that occur on each trip are confidential as we share feelings and reminisce about our time in service. We feel that what we have to offer is a vital opportunity for emotional well-being. We can only continue to do this with the support of those much like yourself.

If you have an interest in becoming a sponsor or a partner with Casting for a Cause Disabled Veterans Foundation, contact us for more information and come fish with us as we provide an opportunity for you to learn more about what we are doing. I look forward to hearing from you.

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