Giving back through the outdoors
Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2022
NATCHEZ — People can still give back to the communities through time, harvests and mentorship in the outdoors. Local charities Hunters for the Hungry, Miss-Lou Dream Hunt and Catch-A-Dream Foundation help people by giving back through the great outdoors.
Hunters for the Hungry started in 1994 through two Natchezians and fellow hunters who envisioned sharing their harvest of game and fish with others. The non-profit charity donates food to those in need each year through donations given to local food banks.
While Clean out your Freezer day was held in September, people can still donate their game and fish throughout the year by contacting their local food bank or Julie Grunewald to schedule a time. Grunewald can be reached at 225-937-7422 or email at julie&h4hla.org.
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Sportsmen can donate to the cause in Louisiana when they purchase a license by checking “Yes” to donate to the charity. They can also donate any deer at a participating local processor at no cost to the hunter. While Hunters for the Hungry donates the majority of meat from the processed deer, hunters are given the option to keep the backstrap meat.
Remember to seal your meat properly, label the contents of donations — the more specific the better — and date your package. Most food banks will generally not take meat more than a year old.
Dream Hunt Foundation’s Miss-Lou Chapter held its first hunt last year and sent 12 kids home with their first deer, meat for their families and memories to last a lifetime. The foundation was started in Shreveport in 2013 and Johnathan Willard brought it to Concordia Parish in 2020.
Each year, the foundation takes underprivileged kids, between the ages of 8 to 18, on a dream hunt. It is a Louisiana based non-profit organization. Volunteers are needed to both take the kids hunting this year and to provide land access for the kids to hunt. People can also make a monetary donation online at dreamhunt.tv.
Catch-A-Dream Foundation is in a similar vein of charity work. The organization gives children in the US and Canada from 8 to 18 years old who face a life-threatening illness a chance to experience the outdoors and receive encouragement in a time they need it most.
Bruce Brady Sr., a native of Brookhaven, had the idea for the foundation before he died in the early 2000’s. People can make monetary donations online through a variety of avenues, one way they can raise funds for Catch-A-Dream is to have a memorial page for a loved one.
Kickin’ Bass for Cystic Fibrosis is held annually on Lake St. John by Chris McVay. His nephew Asher Farmer was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis five years ago. While the Farmers are not residents in the Miss-Lou, they often vacation at Lake St. John. The annual fishing tournament held in May raises money for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Finally, people can give back simply by donating their time, mentorship and access to hunting opportunities. One of the simplest charitable work someone can do is take a kid or new outdoorsmen hunting or fishing and teach them how to hunt or fish.