Parenthood
Man starts taking kids without a father on fishing excursions and makes headlines for it
It all started when he met an 8-year-old boy named Cameron Delong and escalated from there.
Colby Maxwell
12.02.21

We’ve all heard the saying “Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime”, but what if there was more to it than that? For one man, fishing isn’t just a way to eat, however, but a way to be a dad.

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William Dunn started a program that’s a bit different than your average charity organization.

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More commonly known as “Bill Will”, Dunn has taken it on himself to do something wonderful. Dunn, a Clearwater, Florida resident, has a nonprofit with an awesome name: Take a Kid Fishing Inc.

The entire point of the program is to provide time for an older man to be a fatherly figure to kids who need it – all while fishing!

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Like all things, Take a Kid Fishing started small and by accident, although it was born out of passion. It all began with Cameron Delong, an eight-year-old boy who Dunn met years ago.

“I saw this young boy that was frustrated and showed anger. [I] didn’t know why until I found out his father was not in his life,” Dunn told Fox News.

Dunn soon went and asked the boy’s mom to take him fishing.

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For Dunn, fishing was a way that his dad spent time with him. It was special as a kid growing up and if it was special for him, why not try and pass that on? For Dunn, his rough Miami childhood had moments of brightness, often it was when he was fishing.

After a few trips, Dunn started seeing a positive change in the boy.

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Soon, Delong was doing better in school, acting more respectfully, and overall taking more responsibility for his life. It was truly amazing for the entire family to see.

He started doing better in school, showing more respect to his mom, and “just becoming more of a man of the household because his dad was still not in his life,” Dunn said.

All the while the two were going out two to three times a week.

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“I’d get off of work at 5 and he’d be over the house loading fishing rods in the back of my truck,” Dunn said. “We fished a lot. Two to three days a week plus the weekends.”

After the change that Dunn saw in the young man, he knew that this was something he felt strongly about. He then reached out to foster homes and started taking groups of 20+ kids on charter boats to go fishing every Saturday – all out of his own pocket!

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Nearly eleven years later and Take a Kid Fishing is still happening.

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Kids from all over the area have had their life impacted in a way that will forever change them. For Dunn, it was simply taking the time to share a passion of his with them, all while showing them he cared. Oh and in case you wanted to know, he still takes out 19-year-old Delong like he’s his son!

Check out the video below!

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By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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