|Over the past few years, I have been obsessed with hunting walking sticks down by the Scioto River in Columbus, Ohio. It's therapeutic and relaxing to walk the river bank and hunt for that perfect walking stick that I could sand and varnish.
I took some photos back in 2018 while I was walking the river bank looking for walking sticks. The water level was really down that day, and it makes it easier to locate sticks. The Scioto river runs through Ohio approximately 231 miles.
I would finish the stick and burn Inspirational sayings in the sticks. Some sticks I would keep, and others I would give away.
One day while hunting for sticks, I noticed a man sitting on the river bank with his car parked behind him full of his belongings. I could tell he was living in his car. I approached him, and we started to chat about walking sticks and how much fun it was as a hobby to finish walking sticks. The man eventually opened up and told me his name was Paul, and he was a homeless US Military Veteran living in his car.
After about an hour of talking, I reached in my pocket and pulled out what cash I had. I handed him $36 and said, "Here, please take this. It's all I have with me. I wish I could do more". He looked embarrassed and ashamed to accept it. I immediately tried to make him feel comfortable and said, "Tell you what, If you're interested, I would love to hire you to sand and varnish these walking sticks I found today.
He got a nice big smile on his face and said, "You have a deal, my friend" A few days later, I showed up, and the sticks were finished and looked amazing. It was a touching, rewarding moment for both of us.
On my drive home, I thought that I needed to do more somehow. I started thinking of a way to help Paul continually and the thousands of other Veterans across the country that might need some help.
That's when River Walking Sticks was born! I was happy to hire Paul and a few other veterans. We sell high-end walking sticks and add authentic military vintage buttons to the walking sticks and canes.
A US Military Veteran works on every walking stick. Our mission is to employ as many veterans as possible by selling thousands, maybe millions, of beautiful custom walking sticks.
I would also like to inspire other businesses to give back in an automated way. It's great to donate to a cause on a monthly or yearly basis, but what's even better is to work the giving back process directly into your business model.
As a business, we automate billing, shipping, ordering, staffing, and many more things. Why not automate giving back directly into the process. If you look hard enough and think creatively, you'll find a way to give back within your business model. For me personally, it makes my job even more rewarding and only makes me work harder.
River Walking Sticks has partnered with Faith Missions in Columbus, Ohio. Faith Missions provides meals and shelter for homeless people, including many US Veterans. They also assist with employment, medical issues, and veteran service.
River Walking Sticks donates a portion of our sales directly to Faith Missions to assist in their efforts to help the homeless.
We have also partnered with "Save A Warrior" Please go here to see how we give back