Becoming partners with Warriors & Quiet Waters nearly eight years ago, was the best decision I have made for Jelt. I first learned about the organization from a screening of A Journey Home, at the Rialto Theater, in Bozeman. I was deeply touched by the veterans’ experiences floating the rivers and fly fishing the pristine waters of Montana. Participating in the catch and release theory of fly-fishing seemed to be cathartic for the U.S. servicemen and women who have seen tremendous death and destruction while on duty. Catching a fish on a fly rod and then releasing the fish to watch it swim away is a transformative experience, but especially poignant to a person who has experienced combat.
Jelt was founded in 2014 as a social enterprise with three pillars, all with a distinct purpose of doing business for the force of good. Our pillars start with making elastic stretch belts sustainably, from 100% recycled plastic bottles, keeping them out of oceans and landfills. Second, or belts are manufactured in Montana in ways that empower underserved women, both local women and women living on remote rural ranches. And finally, we donate a portion of every belt sold to local and national charities that support veterans, families, and the environment. Partnering with Warriors & Quiet Waters is essential to supporting one of the main pillars of my business — giving back to American veterans who fight for our freedom.
As a Warriors & Quiet Waters community partner, Jelt donates $1 of every JeltX and Venture Adjustable belt sold to the organization. Our team has also participated as volunteers for the golf tournament and the Warrior Taste Fest. In 2020, Jelt collaborated with Warriors & Quiet Waters to create a WQW branded Jelt Venture Belt, for fishing waders and everyday jeans. The WQW Jelt Venture Elastic Stretch Belt is available only on the WQW online store.
I am so grateful to live in a place that has a program like Warriors & Quiet Waters, which acknowledges the needs of combat-wounded veterans when they begin assimilating to life after service. It is not enough to simply say, “thank you for your service.” We need to provide outlets and support to American service members who have sacrificed their lives so that we can live in peace at home. Often, this support is best found in nature and through outdoor activities. Fly-fishing happens to fit those needs in a profound way.
This blog was written by Jen Perry, President and Owner of Jelt. Jelt is a 2021 sponsor of Warrior Taste Fest. Buy your tickets to Warrior Taste Fest now (while they last).