Kind Florida Man Spends Free Time Taking Kids Without Dads Fishing To Build Memories & Teach Lessons

He wants to impact children the same way his own father impacted him.

william dunn, fishing trips, children Take A Kid Fishing Inc. 

A Florida man is making an impact on the children in his community in an effective and heartwarming way. 

Upon discovering that some fatherless children in his neighborhood were struggling, he decided to step in and take the kids on excursions that their own fathers were unable to. 

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The Lakeland, Florida resident takes the kids without dads on fishing trips to build memories and teach lessons. 

William Dunn, also known as “Big Will” is father of three residing in Lakeland, Florida who grew up with a passion for fishing, a pastime that he and his own father would embark on often while he was growing up. While out on the water, Dunn not only got to spend quality time with his dad, but he also got to learn some valuable life lessons.

“I still carry the lessons he taught me. He told me that fishing isn’t about what you catch – it’s about the memories you make,” he told The Washington Post last year. Being the youngest of six children, this time spent with his father was not taken for granted. 


Even into adulthood and into his own journey of fatherhood, Dunn carried the important lessons about patience and spending time with those you look up to throughout his life. 15 years ago while in his mid-forties, he noticed his eight-year-old neighbor stomping about angrily outside his house, something he did often. Dunn decided to approach the boy to see how he could help. That’s when he learned some heartbreaking news. “He told me that he didn’t have a father,” Dunn says. 

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Inspired to help the little boy process his emotions and find peace, he offered to take him fishing one Saturday afternoon, just like his own father used to do. For weeks, this was something they would do together, and overtime, the boy began inviting some of his friends on the excursions. 

After a decade of taking the boy and his friends out on the lake, Dunn decided to branch out the opportunity to other fatherless children in his community. He started a non-profit organization called “Take A Kid Fishing Inc.” in 2018. According to the website, the organization “is dedicated to enhancing the lives of underprivileged and fatherless kids through mentoring and fishing excursions that are geared and dedicated to their future.” 




With the help of volunteers and donations, Take A Kid Fishing Inc. has taken over 1,500 kids, mostly without father figures, fishing, with over 100,000 fish caught over the span of more than 600 trips. Additionally, the organization is able to take up to 20 kids fishing every weekend.

Dunn’s actions have had a profound impact on the community. “Kids can sense that he’s genuine,” says Tom Pichette, a former youth pastor in the area, “They’ve been dealt some hard cards and they climb aboard with some tough stories. But Will always accepts them as they are.” 

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The fishing trips are benefitting many fatherless children in the community. 

Terra Pryor, a single mother of three, confessed that she was concerned for her oldest son, Jayden, after his father passed away. When she learned about Take A Kid Fishing Inc, it was the perfect opportunity for her son since he enjoyed fishing with his dad so much.

“It’s wonderful to see that love for fishing continue. But more than that, it’s the relationships they’re building and the healing that is happening when they’re out on the water,” Pryor said. Not only did Jayden get to go fishing with Dunn and learn some helpful life lessons while out on the water, but the time allowed his focus to increase, improving his grades in school. 

Dunn is honored that he is able to be a part of such an essential cause in his community. Not only is he improving the lives of fatherless children, but they are also adding treasured memories to his life. “There’s nothing like feeling that first tug on the line and seeing a kid light up with a smile,” he says. “I feel lucky to witness that every weekend.” 


To learn more about Take A Kid Fishing Inc., to donate or be part of the cause, check out their website to make an impact on a child’s life today. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.