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2018 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

98 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Karen M.9

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been surfing with the Best Day Foundation for the past three years. From the minute we register online, to arriving at the beach, to each surf ride, to the awards ceremony, to lunch service, to seeing us off the beach the Best Day folks put their hearts and muscle 100% into each participant. They recruit the sweetest teenage buddies that make my daughter feel so special for the day. Surfing with this group is one of the top highlights of the summer!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This foundation allows our special needs kids to do something that they ordinarily wouldn’t have the opportunity do. Everyone is so patient and kind and does not stare or judge our kids for them being just a little different. Everyone is just so loving and open arms and is willing to do anything to help our kids. They make our kids and parents feel special. Unfortunately we do not get that often. Just love them. Thanks, Melody Kesterson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Serving on the board of another nonprofit gives me some interesting perspective.....let me simply state that what the good folks of Best Day Foundation are doing is nothing short than miraculous! The ocean has magical powers for sure, but couple that with a group of selfless people giving everything they can to help people that otherwise wouldn't safely be able to experience the joy of surfing and the ocean and you are able to see the human spirit shine on every level. Give your time or support this group financially - it's an amazing gift to be involved in any way!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This Foundation is so Aamaaaaazing! My child with Autism had a blast. Even me as a parent enjoyed watching my child for this experience. From the staff to the volunteers, they all did a great job! May God Bless y’all!

1 Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

WOW!!!!!!!!! What an amazing experience for our son with autism. Your volunteers are some of the sweetest and most encouraging people on the planet. Thank you so much for offering such a wonderful fun day at the beach for some very special kids. We LOVED it!

Our video recap can be found here: bit.ly/BestDay2018.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son with cerebral palsy cannot talk nor walk. And yet, he was able to go surfing! With utmost thanks, our family will always remember that special day made possible by Best Day Foundation's awesome organizers and volunteers. We remain forever grateful for our James' one-of-a-kind adventure! :)

2 Angela Klein R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and son love to surf and we happened to see Best Day Foundation down in Ventura last summer. We were so impressed we decided to volunteer this summer at C Street in Ventura, CA. I can't begin to tell you how AMAZING the volunteers are. They went above and beyond to make it the best day for the kids. I loved seeing the children remember the volunteers and to see the children and volunteers so excited to see eachother again. They obviously love it or they wouldn't come back. My 14 year old son was so stoked to help the children finish the obsticle course and laugh and cheer with so much joy. I told a friend who has a child with special needs and she's all signed up and ready to come. I really wanna get the word out about this awesome group. Everyone loves a fun day at the beach. We will definitely be back again to volunteer this summer to have another Best Day!

1 Stephen Wayne Leighton J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the best organizations around. The smile on all the kids faces thru out the day is incredible. And people just coming to the beach not knowing about the event and just watch they start to smile. Been volunteering for 4 years now and ill be with this group until i move and hopefully find another chapter to paddle to

1 Maryann V.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our son Matthew joined Best Day Foundation in Brick, NJ for a surfing adventure four years ago and we’re still talking about it. We had such a great day. All the volunteers were so caring and enthusiastic. What a wonderful group.

1

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!

2 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!

1

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!