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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Best Day Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Autism, Children & Youth, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Health, Human Services, Youth Community Service Clubs, Youth Development Programs

Mission: Best Day helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun filled adventure activities which stretch their limits, expand their true potential, reinforce their achievement, and connect them with diverse populations in their community. Current activities include Surfing, Body Boarding, Kayaking, SUP (stand up paddling), Outrigger Canoeing, and Snow sports.

Results: Since 2008 Best Day has served over 6000 youth with special needs in 202 beach and snow events in California, New Jersey, and New York, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

Target demographics: youth with special needs aged 4-24.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 1154 youth with special needs share exciting adventures surfing at 33 events with the support of over 4000 volunteers.

Geographic areas served: beach communities on the East and West Coasts

Programs: Best Day offers beach events in California and New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida

Community Stories

89 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful day! Tons of volunteers, and really skilled surfers and kayak riders kept our kids safe. At the event we attended, there were one or two volunteers assigned as one-on-one aides for our kids, and they facilitated rides on surfboards, boogie boards, kayaks, and outrigger canoes. They were flexible and positive and provided a joyful, new experience for our son. Impossibly, my wheel-chair kid is a Surfer!

1 Mary M.5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Best Day Foundation makes a genuine and profound impact. It is a privilege and a tremendous joy to participate in their events.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They fully exhibit their mission and care about all participants. This is a great organization!

1 Penny S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son participated in a Best Day beach event. My son is seven and on the autism spectrum. He likes water but it generally is a struggle to get him to participate. My husband started texting me photos and videos mid morning. Each left me more stunned than the last. There was my 7 year old on a surf board in the ocean! We drove from Tucson to San Diego to attend and it was well worth the effort.

1

Client Served

Rating: 1

Ventura Event wasn't organized, many activities were unavailable. Jess the staff volunteer's 2 brothers were on canoes several hours for personal use not putting on kids. They were giving out donated bags that were empty to kids. They didn't give cold drinks to kids or snacks had to bring own snacks and drinks to the beach event. Parents were complaing about there kids not being able to go on activity such as canoeing and surfing and boogie boards. There was 2 volunteers in water helping kids the rest of volunteers were playing with balls in the water not really helping. Very Disappointed in experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

So much fun! Last year i moved to Santa Barbara and didn't know anyone. Through this organization I met new friends, made great memories and loved volunteering with such fun kids! Can't wait for this year:)

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm a 25 year old quadriplegic who used to surf constantly. But after being a passenger in a car accident and losing use of my muscles from my chest down I didn't think I'd surf again. I met some volunteers from Best Day Foundation who helped me get back in the waves. I honestly don't know where I'd be without Best Day Foundation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful foundation. It provided my son an opportunity to participate in water activities that we would never be able to confidently. The smile as on his face as he rode that wave on the body board was priceless. I can't say enough how wonderful, caring and experienced the volunteers and buddies were and it warmed our hearts that they enjoyed their time with our son as much as he did with them. Thank you Best Day for allowing our whole family the chance to enjoy a worry-free day at the beach!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Volunteers at this event were so dedicated, warm, and intent on having a good time. Our daughter went into the ocean to body surf for the very first time. She was very scared but with five volunteers surrounding her as she braved the waves and climbed on the surfboard to ride back to the beach, she arrived with a smile & greater confidence.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Both of my sons were able to participate in a Best Day event in Ventura, California. Both boys absolutely LOVED it! The volunteers were so attentive to the individual needs of my sons, and they both felt so PROUD of all they were able to do. They were encouraged to work through the fears and try news things. It was awesome for them!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great day for the kids! My son [12 yrs. old] has participated a few times and has really enjoyed it. What a unique experience! The staff really makes this event wonderful. They are having so much fun putting smiles on the kids' faces; the good vibes are infectious!

1 Kimberley5

Client Served

Rating: 5

We as a family had truly the Best Day. My son never stopped smiling, and he feels like he made friends. He talks about his beach buddy and brags about being a surfer now. We plan on signing up every year from now on. My son has cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Everyone involved in this event was very supportive and skilled in getting the children to have a wonderful time and feel successful. My son could not get enough turns and while he's only five, the hours in the ocean surfing seemed to evaporate.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

They provided an opportunity for my son to experience something he may never be able to do on his own. What a great group of volunteers in support of special needs kiddos and persons with disabilities everywhere! We truly had the Best Day ever!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My family had a great time at Best Day at the beach. My son was able to surf for the first time and the joy in his face was just so rewarding. I was unsure if my son would be able to do the surfing, since he can't swim yet, but all the volunteers made it safe and possible for him to have a great day! We are so grateful , Thank you all at Best Day Foundation!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Day for the child who participates...Best Day for those who volunteer...Best way to spend a weekend! Great people doing even greater good.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Charlie participated both in the Orange Country and San Diego Chapters. He had such a wonderful time in both events. Surfing is the one sport he never says no to. At both events he never came out of the water once. It was such an honor to have professional surfers to show up and volunteer their time to surf with our kiddos. Keep up the great work!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was the first event we had ever been to for special needs kiddos. generally speaking, kiddos with aspergers have a hard time finding acceptance, so it was very heart warming to see him so welcomed and genuinely cared for by all the staff and volunteers.

1 Jen J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization did an amazing job this year at camp Pendleton! This was my daughters first year participating in one of their events. My daughter has autism but this organization as well as their volunteers made her feel very comfortable and super excited about participating! Way to go guys!

1 Syndi S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am honored to provide a testimonial on behalf of Best Day Foundation. I took my five year son who is on the Autism Spectrum to a Best Day event and truly experienced the beauty, kindness and love from the amazing volunteers and parents! This was such a wonderful day for my son, who was able to ride in a kayak and on a paddle board. We have already signed up for another event to try surfing!!! Thank you Best Day!!!