Veterans Dustin Paine and Shannon Cagle love to fish and hunt. Being in the outdoors brings a renewed sense of energy and emotional well-being, especially to veterans and first responders. Paine and Cagle have experienced firsthand the sense of camaraderie and community that outdoor adventures provide. In 2019, they asked themselves, “How can we help others do what we’re doing?” And that’s how Creek and Timber Legacy came to be.
The two friends founded the nonprofit organization to provide the therapeutic benefits of the outdoors to first responders and veterans who may feel isolated or disconnected after their service. And after just a few short years, the organization is taking off.
They recently expanded to two new locations started by veterans who were participants on the same excursion together. Like so many others, they thoroughly enjoyed the experience: laughing, bonding, and opening up about their time in service with other like-minded individuals. They, too, asked themselves, “How can we give back? We would love to do this where we live.” They are now Presidents of the Colorado Division and Pennsylvania Division.
“It can be hard on veterans when they get out of the military,” says Chief Operations Officer Jennifer Brooks. “They really struggle when they lose that connection.” Many veterans have a hard time talking about their experiences. “Once they get back around their people they really start opening up,” says Brooks.
Creek and Timber adventures provide fellowship, healing, and continued support. “If we discover that a participant has other needs, we open up to our veteran networks to get them support with anything from resume writing to job hunting to dealing with VA issues. We make sure they’re taken care of in whatever way they need,” says Brooks.
What’s Next for Creek and Timber Legacy?
Their goal is to obtain land in multiple locations with accessible lodges, hunting blinds and transportation to accommodate persons with special needs. “We’re currently accepting not just monetary contributions, but also items that can be used on the excursions like food, supplies, and volunteer fishing and hunting guides, as well as land or hunting lease donations,” says Chief Development Officer Ashley Furr. Your donation goes directly to providing veterans, first responders, and families of the fallen with the opportunity to experience the healing powers of the outdoors.
By providing opportunities for outdoor adventures, Creek and Timber is helping veterans and first responders find new ways to connect with each other and the world around them and to find a sense of purpose and fulfillment after their service.
Nominate a Recipient
Do you know a veteran or first responder that you want to nominate to be a part of an outdoor experience? Visit www.creekandtimberlegacy.org to nominate them.