The Sea Tow Foundation is seeking donations to help fulfill the life jacket requests they received for their 2023 Life Jacket Loaner Program. More than 250 applications from 46 states – a record number – were submitted this year, creating a gap of 15,000 life jackets between what cities and organizations need and what the Sea Tow Foundation is able to provide through grants and other funding sources such as Sea Tow member donations. Additionally, the Sea Tow Foundation is working to replace the dozens of Life Jacket Loaner stands destroyed by Hurricane Ian this past year.
The Sea Tow Foundation is asking for businesses and individuals to help provide boaters across the country with the resources they need to have a safe and fun day out on the water. Boating companies with a surplus of life jackets can donate them to the Sea Tow Foundation so that boaters can borrow them at the organization’s over 1,000 life jacket loaner stations located across all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., American Samoa and the Virgin Islands. Retailers are also asked to participate if they have life jackets that are still usable, but are no longer sellable or have undergone label changes or logo rebranding. Life jacket manufacturers can also participate by donating any life jackets that have a blemish on the label or logo. And individuals can also reach out and donate their new or gently-used life jackets, too. All usable life jackets will be added to the Sea Tow Foundation’s nationwide Life Jacket Loaner Program.
“Yamaha recently donated over 800 life jackets to the Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program, and we want to encourage other companies within the boating industry to do the same,” says Leslie Zlotnick, Marketing Division Manager, Yamaha WaterCraft Group. “Partnering with the Sea Tow Foundation to distribute these life jackets to loaner stands where they can have an immediate impact was an easy decision. Boating safety and the success of our industry go hand-in-hand, so it’s important that boating companies do their part, too.”
If you have life jackets to donate, please reach out to the Sea Tow Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Companies and individuals who don’t have life jackets available to donate are still invited to help. Monetary donations will be used by the Sea Tow Foundation to directly purchase life jackets and loaner stands that can be sent out to the many cities and organizations in need. A $100 donation funds the purchase and shipping of four life jackets for the Life Jacket Loaner Program and $1,500 funds the purchase of a stand and all the life jackets for it. Every dollar raised helps keep boaters safe across the country. Make a tax-deductible donation to the Sea Tow Foundation at www.boatingsafety.com/donate.
“We have seen amazing growth in our Life Jacket Loaner Program this past year surpassing 1,000 loaner stand locations, and it’s a good sign when more and more groups want to get involved by applying to host a life jacket loaner station in their local area,” says Gail R. Kulp, Executive Director of the Sea Tow Foundation. “Life jackets save lives, so we want to do everything we can to fulfill the additional 15,000 life jackets that have been requested this year. Responsible boating has always been a core value for boating companies, and we see this as a great opportunity for them to directly impact boater safety. You never know who your life jacket donation could save.”
To learn more about the Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program, click here.