The 2009 hunting season is drawing near. You've probably begun the annual ritual of dragging out all your hunting gear, or if you're like me, trying to remember where you put it all at the end of last season. It's amazing how much gear it takes to pursue our outdoor passion.
As you are taking inventory of what you have and what you need, I'd like to ask that you keep the needs of a very special group of folks in mind. The Center for Courageous Kids http://www.courageouskids.org/ is a camp in Scottsville, Kentucky for children with severe life-threatening illnesses. Their mision is to uplift children who have life-threatening illnesses by creating experiences year-round that are memorable, exciting, fun, build self-esteem, are physically safe, and medically sound. Every year, they serve thousands of children who are unable to participate in the childhood activities that most of us take for granted. One of their goals is simply to help each child feel "normal" for a week.
Their facilities are absolutely first class and include an on-site medical center complete with a helipad for emergency medivacs, a bowling alley, an indoor pool, a beautiful equestrian center, an archery range, and a fabulous fishing lake. Take a look at their website and you'll be blown away.
Now here's the most amazing thing about what they do... The children they serve and their families never pay a cent! Their entire operating budget of over $3 million per year is funded by donations from foundations, corporations, and individuals like you and me.
So how can we sportsmen help make a difference, and what does that have to do with that pile of hunting gear in the middle of your floor? The Center for Courageous Kids is looking for donations of outdoor gear including archery equipment, fishing tackle, flashlights, bug spray and other items that can be used in their programs. Here's a wish list of things they need. You can click on it to get a larger view.
So as you are thinking about upgrading your flashlight to the latest gazillion candlepower wonder, or pondering what to do with those boxes of fishing tackle that you'll never use, please consider making a donation. No contribution is too small. They are always looking for volunteers to help with the various activities, so if you are an archer, or a fisherman, or just someone who enjoys seeing a grin on the face of a child who may not have a whole lot to smile about in their life, please consider donating some of your time as well.
I will be at Murfreesboro Outdoors on September 19th from 9:00 - 3:00 talking about deer scouting and collecting donations for the Center for Courageous Kids. If you don't have any extra gear laying around, you can come in and buy something there to donate. I'll also be giving away a free Tiger Whiskers Wind Sensor to anyone who makes a cash donation of $5.00 or more.
I hope to see you there.