For many Floridians, summer slows down and people leave and go on adventures, but in Naples, Freedom Waters Foundation continues jumping with activity! Boat trips; fishing tournaments, cruising, sailing, fishing for veterans and people with disabilities! Freedom Waters Foundation’s mission is to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and veterans by providing therapeutic marine related experiences on the waters of South Florida. With only two full-time employees and a fleet of volunteers, Freedom Waters provides accessibility and recreational therapy for Collier county and surrounding areas. On Friday, July 8th, program participants from UCP of Southwest Florida in Naples set sail on a unique journey into the Gulf of Mexico.
To help the general public better understand the power of cruising for people with intellectual and physical disabilities, one of Freedom Water’s frequent sailors penned this poem:
Poem by Sailor Jan Robey
Sailing into Freedom
For the greater part of life
I lived in a world of limits & boundaries.
Being confined within a challenged body,
I could but wonder what freedom felt like.
From the very first solo-sailing,
I became the allness of freedom.
With the freedom of motion across the water,
I quickly sailed into the freedom of my heart.
There I became the lyrics of an unsung song,
and the motion of a dance
that was waiting to happen.
Sailing introduced me to
‘freedom, within & without’!
When I am sailing
I am one with the water & Earth,
and I am still invited to be myself!
Inclusion in the marina and on the water is truly empowering. On behalf of those we serve, Thank you again Freedom Waters for an amazing summertime memory!