William Dunn of Lakeland, Florida, observed his eight-year-old neighbor barging into and out of his home across the street.
When the youngster did so frequently, Dunn got worried.
“One day I asked him what was going on in his life since I was curious.”
He informed me he didn’t have a father, and that made me think there could be anything I can do for him.
Dunn, 57, helped his father run his lobster business in the Florida Keys for a while. He claimed that fishing has always taught him patience and offered him tranquility.
On the river, he added, you can put your concerns aside and simply take in the scenery.
The mother of the boy who lived next door asked the father of three if he might take him fishing.
After spending a Saturday day on the water, he demonstrated how to wield a fishing pole, set up a line, and reel in a catch to the boys’ friends and other schoolchildren.
Since then, 15 years have passed.
Since then, Dunn has taken groups of children fishing on the weekends. Most of them had never fished before and lacked father figures. For years, they had been transferred from one foster family to another.
They had experienced a lot, seen a lot, and their lives had been challenging, Dunn added. Every one of those things vanished as they were fishing.
Dunn said that the kids will have fun and meet new friends aboard the boat. When he noticed that, he realized he was onto something.
a little youngster holding two fish with joy.
Dunn used a significant portion of his paycheck from selling tires to pay for the weekly fishing trips on charter boats. In Lakeland, Florida, a place with several lakes, he established the organization Take a Kid Fishing Inc. in 2018.
Over 2,500 kids—the majority of whom don’t have fathers—have learned how to fish and enjoy calm time on the lake because to Dunn and a few volunteers over the course of the last three and a half years.
On a fishing expedition, William Dunn and two lads use Instagram.
“Big Will” Dunn, who was raised in Miami, always considered himself fortunate to have a father who brought him fishing.
As the youngest of my father’s six children, our connection has always been wonderful.
I still keep the teachings dad taught me, even though he now resides in Tennessee. The memories you create while fishing are more important than the fish you catch.
Every youngster I bring to fishing will receive that lesson, he added.
A little youngster holding a fish and grinning.
The neighborhood has complimented Dunn for his commitment to coaching these young fisherman.
Kids can tell he’s sincere, according to Tom Pichette, a 59-year-old former youth pastor who has accompanied him on several fishing outings as a volunteer.
They board the ship with some difficult tales to tell since they were dealt some difficult cards. Will accepts them in their current state.
Terry Pryor, 32, a mother of three, lost her father, Richard Pryor, in an automobile accident in January 2020.
Jayden, who was 10 years old at the time, was her biggest concern. He immediately felt the need to take on the role of man of the house due to his strong relationship with his father.
He attempted to be tough for everyone and hid his emotions, according to Pryor. I was aware of what to do to assist him after reading about Take a Kid Fishing.
Jayden has improved as a committed fisherman because to Dunn.
He remarked, “Will has taken me fishing and helped me improve. I hope he realizes how much I value his assistance.
Each participant in the program is given a fishing stick and gear box. The relationships they forge and the healing that takes place on the water, however, are the real highlights of the trip.
Nothing compares to feeling the first tug on the line and witnessing a child’s face light up, according to Dunn. On the weekends, I get to see it.
These youngsters are equally fortunate to have such a decent man as a guide. Thank you, Will Dunn, for transforming these kids’ lives one fishing trip at a time.