Today West Marine kicks off its annual “Month of Giving” to support its nonprofit, BlueFuture. During this 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. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised during Month of Giving will benefit the BlueFuture grants program.
BlueFuture 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. This past year, 50 organizations received support from the BlueFuture program. Each grant was $1,500, and unrestricted, allowing the grant recipient to determine how the funding would be used.
“We’re thrilled to once again be raising money to support the BlueFuture program,” said Laura Barry, West Marine director of communications. “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.”
The 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 organizations these grants support are always in need. We received more applications than ever during the 2018 grant cycle and every single one had a mission worth supporting,” Barry explains. “With the help and support of our generous customers we will raise the funds to provide another $75,000 in grants in 2019.”
Donations will be accepted in any amount at store locations and can also be made online at westmarine.com/bluefuture.
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 2017 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.