“A REEL DIFFERENCE” is a program initiated by Justin DeBoom and Brandon Walton and adopted by the 501c3 charitable organization Neighbors Outreach Worldwide! It was July 2020, when it all started. Costa Rica had just implemented the second major lockdown due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and this same weekend the coastal community of Jaco was ravaged by severe flooding.
Brandon and Justin had been fishing most every weekend during the lock down, doing what they love and enjoy. However, after the flooding and seeing the devastation and everything people had lost, the idea came to mind about donating some of their catch to those in need. For the next two weeks, thousands of pounds of fresh meat were donated to feed hundreds of people. It was a perfect situation: Fish – just like they had been for months – and help those in need.
The idea of starting an actual charity never occurred until friends and family began to ask about contributing financially to help cover fuel and provision expenses to keep fishing. It was at this very moment “A REEL DIFFERENCE” was born. Currently, “A REEL DIFFERENCE” has donated thousands of pounds of fish along with the first food basket donations on September 7th, 2020, which provided 36 families with meals for a week.
With the recent help coming from others, the opportunity to help more people is growing. The short-term goals are simple.
- Keep fishing as often as possible and donate all the fish caught to Jaco Impact and Horizon Church.
- Involve tourism. With companies like Fishing Vacations, who books hundreds of fishing charters a year, there is a great opportunity for travelers to donate their catch.
- Charter Fleet promoting “A REEL DIFFERENCE” to their clients and contributing their catch when they have more than they need. We also plan to utilize the fleet to supplement fish by chartering them when needed to keep the flow of fresh meat to the organization.
- Introduce kids and teens to sportfishing. Through organizations like Jaco Impact and Horizon Church, we will use their clean-up and community activities to introduce kids with interest in the fishing industry as way to improve their lives.
How can you help?
When you book a trip with Fishing Vacations, just let your agent know if you would like to donate any of your catch if you have meat fish from your trip. You can also make a financial contribution as well, which will fund food basket purchases, fuel expenses for trips as well as chartering of boats to supplement fish needs.
With your support we can make “A REEL DIFFERENCE” for families all over our region. Stay up to date with our progress and new initiatives at www.areeldifference.org