Paddling to End Domestic Violence: Donor Spotlight

By Sunny Lim

Opportunities to give back and serve others are all around us. Everyone has the potential to give back to the community. As the founder of the Bow South Expedition, James Hermes uses his passion for kayaking to raise donations and awareness for BTSADV. Volunteers such as James contribute to the success of BTSADV. We are grateful for James’ commitment to BTSADV and his generosity.

From 2014 to 2017, the Bow South Expedition started at the Hoover Dam and traveled 340 miles throughout the Colorado River all the way down to the Morelos Dam near the United States-Mexico border. The extensive journey began as a charity kayak paddle.

“When I first started, I was looking for a charity to paddle for,” he said.

James wrote a Facebook post asking for suggestions. “I let the charity find me,” he said.

In the past, James paddled for breast cancer research and other causes. When a friend messaged him about BTSADV, he saw our organization had high ratings. After he messaged Kristen, James felt touched.

“The level of personal attention shown to me from Kristen, the executive director…spoke volumes,” he said. “It shows how much attention and support they give to survivors.”

Although James would paddle for different charities each year, he decided to continue paddling for BTSADV.

“I’m paddling for the future of BTS,” he said.

During his expedition, he meets survivors and people who have lost loved ones to domestic violence. When he tells people about BTSADV and our mission, people start sharing their own personal stories with him.

In addition to raising funds and awareness for BTSADV through the Bow South Expedition, James has been paddling for more than six years in races and solo trips across sections of the Colorado River and other areas. He has also taught at kayaking and canoeing workshops along with speaking at kayak club meetings and paddlefests. Currently, he also hosts a monthly podcast called “Wherever There’s Water” about paddlesports.

When he isn’t kayaking, James volunteers with Boy Scouts of America and raises awareness about the environmental danger surrounding the Colorado River.

“The Colorado River is one of the most overused rivers,” he said. “It’s important to know.”

James’ dedication to making a difference is evident in his service toward others. We’re thankful for James and his expedition crew for paddling hundreds of miles to raise awareness for BTSADV.

If you’re interested in volunteering with Break the Silence Against Domestic Violence, visit: https://breakthesilencedv.org/volunteer/

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