The success of our Bass Bash event and involvement with our combat vets and their families has been an honor, but with it has come an acute awareness of the need for something more – something that offers a deeper, more comprehensive and long-term path to recovery than a single event – something that allows for healing in a non-traditional, natural setting with services specific to individual need.
In 2020 Healing Rivers was established as a 501(c)(3) with the purpose of developing a program and facility designed to offer recuperative services to Veterans who have seen combat, their families, and caregivers. This non-traditional approach would be located in a natural, mountain setting with a lodge to accommodate handicap need, outdoor recreational activities that include fishing and hunting, direct counseling, connective planning, spiritual guidance, family activities, and fellowship. Time spent in nature, coupled with individually-appropriate, therapeutic guidance, will allow for our veterans and families to seek healing in the peace and perfection of a forest in Autumn or alongside a rushing mountain stream.
The ultimate goal of this program is to offer a comprehensive experience that will carry the veteran forward in his journey toward recovery beyond his stay at Healing Rivers Lodge. In order to do so, we are looking to establish a diversified collaboration of service providers (VA advisors/counselors, medical and therapeutic, educational and recreational) to advise and participate in implementing our mission statement.
“The Mission of Healing Rivers is to promote physical and psychological healing to combat veterans and their families by way of sporting, recreational activities and therapeutic services in a natural, outdoor setting.”
These collaborations will be of primary benefit to the veterans and families, but will also serve to broaden community relationships and provide hands-on experience and professional growth for those involved.
Healing Rivers is looking to acquire land in or near the south central PA area. Location is quite probably the most important component and foundation from which to build. Because we have not been able to identify any similar available programs, we feel confident that the need is strong for this area. The ideal property would be not less than one hundred acres, have direct access to fishable/stockable waters, be secluded yet easily accessible from the tri-state area, zoned for the building of an expandable lodge and small peripheral projects like storage, picnic pavilion, outdoor chapel, all with any necessary adaptations for handicapped usage, etc. and able to be kept as natural as possible now and in the future.
The program is looking at a multi-faceted approach to funding going forward, however, Healing Rivers is seeking grant monies and private donations in order to acquire land and build the lodge. We believe this to be the most pragmatic, responsible, and secure way to proceed.
We have taken the first steps toward making this vision come to life. It is a mountainous undertaking, but there has been significant support from the system of veteran affairs, educational, environmental and wellness institutions, as well as the private, professional and political population. Our drive is built on significant need -- a need to give something back to those who have given so much to us.
If you are moved to share in this endeavor, we are grateful for your gift. Donations at this time will be applied directly to start-up costs, the purchase of land and, as we proceed, the construction of a lodge. As we move forward, there will also be the opportunity to purchase a yearly membership. (coming soon) Do sign up for our newsletter to follow our progress and hear more about the membership program we have in the works.
Direct donations are extremely appreciated and can be gifted directly through our secure site. Donations are tax deductible and you will receive a receipt immediately. Any questions, as always, please feel free to contact us.
Thank you so very much!