Pastor providing fishing equipment to children

A pastor in New Hampshire is collecting fishing equipment and giving it out to local children.

Pastor Ken Whitson of the New Ipswich Congregation Church made a goal this summer to put fishing rods in the hands of children after meeting a 3-year-old boy near a pond with who did not have a pole, Ashley Saari of the Monadnock Ledger-Transcript reports.

Whitson it is an avid fisherman and has been since he was a young child. He told the paper, “It’s been a lifelong thing for me, of never being able to say, ‘I’m bored,’ because I could always go fishing.”

After meeting the three-year-old and his family, the pastor wanted to get the child a pole. But a lot of the local stores were out, or the equipment was too expensive. This sparked an idea.

Since he knew how to repair and outfit fishing rods, he asked his congregation and members of the public to donate unused fishing equipment and poles.

Donations poured in.

The Ledger-Transcript reports Whitson collected around 60 poles from the community and $200 for equipment. Whitson created a repair shop in his basement and repaired the rods that needed to be repaired.

Approximately 30 rods have been given out to children in New Ipswich this summer, including to the 3-year-old who started the idea. And there are still plenty of rods to be given out. Whitson is also working on a tackle shop for children to browse in the spring. They’ll be able to purchase poles and other equipment for a few dollars.

Each rod comes with a guarantee that if it ever breaks or jams, Pastor Ken will fix it right up.

If you are interested in helping out, donations can be mailed to New Ipswich Congregational Church at 156 Main Street, New Ipswich, NH 03071.