Tuesday, October 3, 2023

James River Relief Program is Back with Free Paddle Trips for Hospital Workers

In 2020, JRA launched James River Relief, a program that provides free paddle trips for hospital healthcare workers throughout the James River watershed. (Courtesy of the James River Association)

JAMES RIVER — While the COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on many daily events, activities and work, healthcare workers never waivered from their duties to care for others. They carried on through unprecedented challenges, battling a global pandemic and putting their lives on the line each day.

In June 2020, the James River Association (JRA) launched James River Relief, a program providing free paddle trips to hospital workers in the James River watershed.

Within 24 hours of the program’s launch, the first round of 100 paddle trips had been given away, signaling a great demand for healthcare staff to find much-needed respite by connecting with the river.

Thanks to donor funding in order to support the program, James River Relief is back for the 2021 river season. The program will again provide more than 100 paddle trip & rental options to doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff through partnering with several regional outfitters.

“We were thrilled to give away more than 100 trips last summer to hospital workers in the James River watershed,” Bill Street, CEO for the James River Association said in a June 29 news release. “We are excited to bring this program back, and grateful to partner with several outfitters in various locations on the James, to provide a break on the water offering solace, relaxation and enjoyment on our beautiful river.”

Outfitter partners include RVA Paddlesports and Crosswind Paddle Company in Richmond, James River Reeling & Rafting in Scottsville, and Rivanna River Company in Charlottesville.

The program will also provide trips through JRA’s outfitter, James River Adventures in Lynchburg, and through JRA’s Connect with the James programs in Greater Richmond and James City County.

Hospital workers can sign up for a free paddle by filling out a form on JRA’s website. The association asks that those who sign up provide their names, addresses, and the hospital where they work. After signing up, they are emailed with further details, plus a code to book their trip or rental, free of costw.

To learn more about James River Relief and to share this opportunity with hospital workers in the James River watershed, visit thejamesriver.org/james-river-relief.

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