Recently, at the Miami Boat Show, I ran into Michael O’Neal, executive director of Reel Life Adventures. At first glance, Michael and his Reel Life operation didn’t seem much different from many other fishing charter operations. That was until I starting talking to him and discovered how O’Neal had combined adventure fishing charters with some fantastic work in helping people in the less developed parts of the world. Reel Life Adventures takes avid sport fisherfolk, including whole familes with kids, and brings them to places like Guatemala, Peru, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. They work on humanitarian projects for a few days and then do some serious fishing. An impressive combination of giving a helping hand and some great sport fishing. The following is an explanation from Michael’s website:
“Reel Life Adventures is a non-profit 501(c)(3) connecting those who enjoy sport fishing and outdoor adventure with an avenue to make a real difference in the lives of impoverished children and families. Through the provision of various forms of humanitarian aid with a special emphasis on the care of orphans, our objective is to rescue children from the street and offer true hope and a future to those who are suffering.
“There are literally millions of orphans across the globe today who are completely defenseless. While unable to care for themselves, these young children are in no way to blame for their circumstance. They face a battle that no human being should ever face… a battle to survive in a world where they have no one to love them, no one to give them medicine, no one to provide them with basic education, no one to even make sure they have something to eat. Many prostitute themselves just to survive. Others are not so fortunate, as over 26,000 children die each day due to starvation and preventable disease.
“Many of these children are well within our reach, and we have the opportunity to give them a chance at life. Through your support and involvement, impoverished and orphaned children will receive the love they so desperately need. Cycles will be broken and future generations will be impacted. You are invited to participate in something truly significant… Get involved today, and ‘Let Your Adventure Outlive You!’
“Our prayer is that ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ouï»¿r ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿lives ï»¿wï»¿iï»¿lï»¿lï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ï»¿ count for something greater than ourselves… that we will be used in a mighty way to lift these children up, love and care for them, and ultimately give them that which cannot be taken away.”