WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - D.C. school teacher Carmen Gardner has always understood the dangers of growing up in the inner city.
As a kid he said he didn’t go outside much because the chances of getting shot or caught up in something bad were very high. Gardner said fishing with his cousin’s boyfriend gave him an outlet and helped him focus on creating a better life for himself.
Now as a teacher, he frequently visits his students in the very neighborhoods of Washington where he grew up. One day, a few weeks ago, on a visit to a sixth grader's home he noticed a memorial to a homicide victim and it broke his heart.
“I was almost in tears walking past that thing,” Gardner said.
He said he thought back to when he was stuck inside his apartment because of the dangers in the street and wanted these kids to experience the same joys of fishing he did as a child.
He said he isn’t independently wealthy, so he used his stimulus check to start the Inner City Anglers. This group is a nonprofit that allows him to take children from the city’s struggling neighborhoods on fishing trips.
“I was a kid on the step waiting for someone to come pick me up," he said. "Now that’s what I’m going to be doing. I’m going to be picking these kids up."
The Pay It Forward Crew along with Easterns Automotive want to support those supporting the community and making a difference.
Easterns presented Inner City Anglers with a check for $1,500 to help purchase fishing gear and lunch for future outings.
For more information on how you can help visit www.innercityanglers.com.