Thousands of youth will have the tools to continue fishing beyond Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA) community outreach events thanks to the USA’s partnership with health and well-being company, Humana.
Through an agreement signed on April 1, 2021, Humana will support the USA’s Work Boots on the Ground conservation program as the official 2021 Take Kids Fishing Host Sponsor. The sponsorship will aid in the purchase of approximately 4,000 fishing rod and reel combos, which will be provided at no cost to participants at the USA’s 30 projected public outreach events in 2021.
As part of its mission to unite the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage, the USA hosts free Take Kids Fishing (TKF) events in communities across the nation to strengthen ties between local unions, union workers, and the people in their neighborhoods. The focus, however, is encouraging young people to enjoy the outdoors and develop an interest in conserving natural resources.
“A large number of attendees at our outreach events have never been fishing or owned a fishing rod,” said USA Conservation Coordinator Cody Campbell. “Both the kids and parents are often shocked when they get to keep the fishing gear and are overwhelmed with excitement when they catch their first fish. By engaging attendees in fishing and providing them with the tools to continue the activity, we create a future generation of anglers.”
In January 2020, the USA welcomed Humana as a USA National Partner. The company has a long history within the union community through its group Medicare Advantage solution, which helps sustain group retiree healthcare benefit plans. They also have a strong commitment to support and encourage a healthy lifestyle.
“Like the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance, Humana values a better quality of life, and health plays a big role in that,” said Eric St. Pierre, associate vice president of Humana Group Medicare. Spending time in nature has both long and short-term mental and physical health benefits, so we are excited to help get youth and their families away from technology and into the outdoors. We feel that is especially important after all the physical, mental, and emotional challenges COVID-19 has caused in the past year.”
Humana staff will be part of the USA’s outreach event planning committee and attend many of the events to hand out fishing poles and lunch and engage with other USA volunteers and attendees.
“Having a partner like Humana that understands organized labor and the mission of the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance helps us improve service to our union partners, members, and the communities we serve,” said USA Conservation Programs Manager Sam Phipps. “Their decision to become our Take Kids Fishing Host Sponsor further demonstrates the company’s commitment and passion for conservation and getting youth engaged in the outdoors.”