West Marine kicked off its “Month of Giving” fundraising effort today, a program that goes to benefit the nationwide marine product retailer’s BlueFuture grants program. According to a press release from the Watsonville, Calif.-based company, the BlueFuture program “annually distributes much-needed grants to dozens of nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to getting kids on the water through boating, fishing, paddling and the marine sciences.”
With its “Month of Giving” funding beginning today for its BlueFuture program, West Marine is helping to build the next generation of powerboat enthusiasts. Photo courtesy/copyright Pete Boden/Shoot 2 2 Thrill Pix and the Florida Powerboat Club.
“We’re thrilled to once again be raising money to support the BlueFuture program,” said Laura Barry, West Marine’s director of communications, in the release. “It’s vitally important that we encourage kids to get out on the water and engage with their environment, especially those who might otherwise not have the resources to do so.”
During the month-long fundraiser, customers can make donations to BlueFuture by purchasing “Give Joy” gift tags in-store which will be on display throughout the month. Donations will be accepted in any amount at store locations and can also be made online at westmarine.com/bluefuture.
All of the proceeds raised during December will benefit the BlueFuture grants program in 2019. This year, 50 organizations received support from the BlueFuture program. Each $1,500 grant is unrestricted, meaning grant recipients are allowed to determine how the funding willd be used.
According to the release, community-based programs supported by BlueFuture grants tend to have fewer resources, yet are essential at the local grassroots level. “This is particularly true when it comes to getting young people in underserved, at-risk communities out on the water—learning hands-on skills, engaging with marine sciences and sustainability practices, and acquiring job and life skills,” the release stated.
“The organizations these grants support are always in need,” said Barry. “We received more applications than ever during the 2018 grant cycle and every single one had a mission worth supporting. With the help and support of our generous customers we will raise the funds to provide another $75,000 in grants in 2019.”
BlueFuture is a donor-advised fund set up through the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, and all donations are fully tax-deductible. During the 2018 Month of Giving, donations can be made at checkout in a West Marine store or online. To learn more about BlueFuture, visit westmarine.com/BlueFuture.