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Kayak for a Cause was an idea that Nathaniel Milligan, then 12-year-old middle schooler, came up with in hopes to help other kids less fortunate than him who are food insecure. Nathaniel attends a city middle school, Albert Hill Middle School in Richmond, Virginia where 85% of the student population is impoverished. Each year, the school, PTA, and parents do a holiday drive around Christmas to purchase presents and items that the kids listed as things that they are in need of such as winter jackets, shoes, school supplies, etc. Nathaniel helped out in the 6th grade to purchase gifts and while he thought this was a much needed thing, he also felt bad that many of these families don’t have the means to purchase food to prepare a Thanksgiving meal and wanted to help – and so, Kayak for a Cause was born!

Nathaniel wanted to do an event that combined a passion of kayaking his along with his desire to help those in need. The goal of the event was to raise enough money and canned goods to supply families with a full Thanksgiving dinner that they can prepare. The first annual event raised enough money to provide 47 families with a 10lb turkey, sides, desserts and roasting pans. And there was money left over that was used to augment the holiday gift drive as well as assist those who needed supplies for school.

This year’s event has raised over $3,200 and the goal is to not only provide Thanksgiving meals for those at Nathaniel’s middle school, but also assist the high school within the district. Nathaniel is working to pull together a group of kids who are in the National Junior Honor Society with him to help get counts, food, and distribute. Donations are welcome anytime and can be made by clicking the following link:

We were so excited that a member of the Jackson team was able to participate in the event this year and are very much looking forward to next year.  There has been talk of mixing up the course a bit, we shall see what Nathaniel comes up with!

– Patrick Milligan