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Team River Runner: Helping Wounded Veterans Through Kayaking

Feb 17, 2017 Comments (0)  | Tags: Beer is Love Team River Runner: Helping Wounded Veterans Through Kayaking

The Believer campaign is in full effect and we are so excited to see people supporting the wonderful work that these three nonprofits do for their communities. Team River Runner is based in Rockville, Maryland with dozens of chapters doing good in their local communities. Its mission is to create an environment of healthy adventure, recreation and camaraderie for healing active duty, veteran service members and their families through adaptive kayaking.  Read more about this incredible nonprofit below. 

1. Please tell us a brief history of your organization.

Team River Runner was originally founded in 2004 at the Walter Reed Medical Center. In the last twelve years, we’ve grown exponentially, offering weekly paddling sessions in 53 locations nationally, as well as biathlons in Washington, D.C. and Colorado, two kayak football tournaments, and a host of other activities. As we’ve evolved, we’ve placed an increasing emphasis on the development of leadership skills for our participants.

2. If you could describe your non-profit organization in three words, what would they be and why?

Inclusiveness:

TRR welcomes and encourages the participation of healing active duty and veteran service members and their families in programs designed to serve as many participants as possible. We are non-political and nondiscriminatory and we are dedicated to support the emotional and physical well-being of our participants.

Fun:

TRR provides a positive experience through energetic involvement in a challenging outdoor activity. We believe that paddling provides fun and fulfillment and enables diverse individuals to enjoy the exceptional camaraderie of the paddle sport community.

Volunteerism:

TRR is a volunteer-based organization which derives its energy, ideas, and talents from persons with a commitment to serve others. Volunteers participate in the design, creation and delivery of our paddling programs for the maximum benefit of TRR participants.

3. If your organization turned into a Ninkasi beer, what beer would it be and why?

TRR would definitely be the Believer Double Red Ale, not because we are participating in the campaign but because our makeups are very similar. The tasting notes on the believer ale describe the brew as "multiple malts are used to create caramel, toffy, date, fig, subtle chocolate and a hint of roasted malt complexity" which make an "incredibly drinkable and full -flavored beer"

TRR is a program that is all inclusive. We welcome everyone from all backgrounds and it shows in our participation. One of the most important aspects is the diversity of experience especially during service. This is our strength. That is why so many people find our program as a welcoming and healing place.

4. How does your organization measure success?

TRR records participation and events through an online reporting system (ORS). One huge measure of success is an increase in engagement in our programs. Another important measure is the feedback we get from chapter coordinators, participants and volunteers through communications such as emails, conference calls and testimonials.

5. What is your organizations greatest achievement, and how did you accomplish it?

It is hard to single out one great accomplishment. The first blind kayaker to paddle independently the entire length of the Grand Canyon perhaps. That feat highlights our ability to offer adventure paddling for anyone, with any disability! Our greatest assets are the volunteers and participants who never give up, and see solutions to any issue!

6. If you could have an influential person represent your organization, who would it be and why?

That’s easy, Gary Sinise! Gary has devoted so much of his time, talent and resources to wounded and disabled veterans and their family members. We have had so many veterans with similar physical challenges as his character in Forrest Gump, Lt Dan paddle successfully with us. He is well liked in the veteran community and his efforts are inspiring. We would be honored to have Gary Sinise represent TRR. 

7. What does the Believer campaign mean to your organization?

The believer campaign is collaboration at its best. At first glance, a brewery and a veteran focused nonprofit may not have much in common in terms of their goals but this campaign proves otherwise. This campaign is an important reminder to us that people everywhere believe in our mission and are willing to help us put more veterans on the river to recovery.

Use our beer finder to track down some Believer near you and grab a 6-pack today!

Click HERE to vote for your favorite nonprofit. 


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