Taking kids fishing to learn life lessons

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The old saying goes, If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day…but if you teach him to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.

That’s the message this week’s Everyday Hero is instilling in thousands of foster children.

William Dunn uses fishing to get kids to learn some of life’s most valuable lessons. Dunn is the founder of a Bay area branch of the non-profit called Take a Kid Fishing.

“We take kids out that are in foster homes and kids that are fatherless,” Dunn said. “We take them on a day of fishing, feed them lunch, mentor them, show them life skills to show them that somebody’s there to care for them.”

The kids hit the water from Clearwater aboard the Double Eagle.

Dunn said a neighbor gave him the inspiration to give back.

 “I had a little neighbor. He was about five years old and we would watch him out of our bay doors. He was very destructive, breaking stuff, very angry,” Dunn said. “(I) found out that his dad was not in his life and i just started taking him fishing on the weekend.”

That child is now a grown and successful adult.

Dunn, himself, had some rough years getting here.

“I worked at a lot of bars and stuff as a bouncer,” he said. “I got shot, struck by lightning, bit by a rattlesnake and divorced in ’93. So God kind of had a calling for me.”

That calling was the kids and this is his ministry: watching the look of excitement and joy and their faces as they catch their very first fish.

And mentoring and helping and showing love is what will is all about.

“It’s a blessing to me and my wife to watch these kids grow,” Dunn said. “And this year so many of them graduated with honors from these children homes. (Honored that I) could be a blessing to them.”

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