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The Season of Giving

It’s a fact that many consumers choose to favor businesses that support charities over those that don’t. The holiday season is a great time of year to let your customers and prospects know that your dealership reaches out to support an organization which accomplishes good things.

Every dealer can easily find a worthy charity or program to align with in their local community. Or take a cue from Discover Boating, which recently acknowledged the value in supporting charities by citing several examples of boating and fishing charities worthy of consideration.

C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation
C.A.S.T. stands for “Catch a Special Thrill,” and if you’ve ever caught a fish, you surely know that feeling. The non-profit started in 1991 to pair fishing enthusiasts with special-needs kids. While it continues to do that, C.A.S.T. for Kids additionally introduces city-based children to the sport. Furthermore, it assists service members transitioning to civilian life and their families, encouraging enjoyment of outdoor recreation to support positive social interactions. To learn more or donate, visit C.A.S.T. for Kids.

Hands Across the Sea
While several Caribbean nations are English-speaking, literacy resources like libraries and access to books are scarce. Hands Across the Sea makes a big difference. In Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, and the Grenadines and Grenada, Hands Across the Sea has placed more than 500,000 books into schools and libraries for kids up to grade 12. It also has a preschool literacy program. To learn more or donate: visit Hands Across the Sea.

International SeaKeepers Society
This organization offers a way for boating parents and kids to actively participate in oceanographic conservation, education and research. The International SeaKeepers Society actively connects boatowners with scientists in need of a platform to conduct their studies. SeaKeepers engages boating families interested in being citizen scientists by supplying materials to collect water samples on behalf of researchers. It also works with owners who make their boats available for as little as a few hours as floating classrooms.

Sailors for the Sea

According to this non-profit, the amount of plastic being dumped into the world’s oceans each year equals to about two garbage trucks unloading every 60 seconds. Sailor for the Sea is spreading the word about how single-use plastics break down into microscopic pieces swallowed by sea life — and provides actionable steps to take to make a difference. This organization also provides toolkits to run “clean” regattas and a handy guide to ensure boats are “clean and green.” Learn more at: Sailors for the Sea.

Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center

Fabien Cousteau, the grandson of renowned Jacques Cousteau, is a third-generation ocean explorer who’s passionate about marine conservation and education. The Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center teaches people in coastal communities about habitat destruction, ocean acidification, pollution and, of course, aquatic protection. It also runs sea turtle, mangrove and reef-restoration programs. To learn more, visit Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Center.

The Coast Guard Foundation

From enlistment to well after they’ve retired, Coast Guard members get vital support from the Coast Guard Foundation. For instance, it provides much-needed fitness equipment to help personnel stay in peak form when responding to emergencies in all sorts of sea and weather conditions. The Foundation also provides scholarships to service members as well as their sons and daughters and helps support the families of those killed in the line of duty.

Want to get involved locally? Look around. You’ll likely find good local organizations in many waterfront communities doing excellent work. Here are two examples:

Shake-a-Leg Miami
For nearly 30 years, Shake-a-Leg Miami has been supporting individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities, as well as their families, through watersports. The goal is to help them develop confidence and increase their fitness through sailing and other water activities as well as educational programs. The larger goal is to open the eyes of communities to how adaptive sports opens a world of possibilities.

Rocking the Boat

Students from the South Bronx in New York City learn not just how to build boats, but also how to develop self-confidence thanks to Rocking the Boat. Boat handling, sailing, navigating, and more on-water skills are complementary components to a boatbuilding program. They’re as important as the lessons on leadership and cooperation. Rocking the Boat points to a 96-percent on-time high-school graduation rate among its students as proof of its success. Visit Rocking the Boat.

Bottom line: Charitable giving is good work and making it known is also good for business. 


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