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2019 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 9000 youth with special needs in 274 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

130 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

2 Dina10

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a wonderful time with Best Day! My son, who is on the autism spectrum, went surfing and even went kayaking. It was incredible. All of the volunteers and directors were caring, organized and so much fun! Thank you Best Day Foundation (Ventura Beach August 2016).

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Such an amazing group of people and our family is so blessed to have been able to participate. The volunteers and staff are a gift to families that may not have been able to facilitate these activities and sports otherwise. I love what they do, what they stand for, and their goals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Best day Foundation NJ in July 2016. it was an inspiration to see the joy of the participants and the gratitude of the families. What a moving experience!

2 Tom_96

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Best Day in NJ for 5 years now. Every day that I am on the beach surfing with the kids is one that generates wonderful human interactions, lasting memories, and happy tears. There is no day like a Best Day!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Words cannot describe the impact it makes on you. What an amazing day!

2 Karen422

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Best Day and it really was the BEST DAY!!! I was beach buddies with two teenaged boys and together we had fun playing in the sand and the boys completely enjoyed boogie boarding. They rode the waves several times. Nothing beats the smiles of pure joy on their faces as they caught wave after wave. I'm still smiling days later. I can't wait to volunteer next summer and I will definitely try to volunteer at their winter events this year. Everyone should volunteer for this organization. You won't be sorry!

2 Danielle97

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a fun day surfing with my Autistic children. Thanks to all the friendly and helpful volunteers, my children had the Best Day. Best Day takes safety very seriously, requiring each participant to wear a life vest and helmet. As a parent, I felt comfortable that my children were safe out in the water.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

It is our first experience with the Best Day Foundation. Just like its name, it is the best day; from the moment we arrived until we left; It is a memorable day; the founder, staff, and volunteer accommodated us and were very helpful. One of the gentleman who volunteer found a good match volunteer to accommodate my younger son. My boys really enjoyed the day and so did I. I wish BDF continues to succeed with fun raising to support its program. It is such a great program because the water and its motion help most of special needs kids with their sensory disorder.

Thanks so much Best Day for providing us such opportunity.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Good friends of ours have an autistic son who has benefited greatly from Best Day Foundation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best Day Foundation is a Great charity helping great people!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

NJ Asbury Park Sunday July 17, 2016 Best Day at the Beach
ABSOLUTELY lived up to its name!
THANKS to ALL of you-what an awesome team came to play in the surf & sun yesterday.
As Wonder Woman was leaving the opening High-Five/Fist Bump circle (ALL of the participants had ear-to-ear grins when meeting her and Spiderman) I heard her say "I'm going to do this until I'm 100".
That enthusiasm was infectious with the rest of the staff.
The Surf teams were amazing. I heard them joking about which team was the better one to the eager participants waiting for their turn at the water's edge.
The Body Board Bureau was equal to the task, working hard and together to make the day great.
Sign up volunteers, photographers and all the buddies were treasures.
THANKS again for a tremendous experience!
Andrew (15 year old surf junkie)
Nancy (Mom)
Douglas (Dad)

1 richie2016

Client Served

Rating: 5

When learning your child is going to grow up with special needs you sometimes as a parent mourn all the dreams and plans you had for said child. It's foundations like Best Day that not only give the child a day of amazing memories but give something to the parents that we never thought we would get, the chance to see our children do things that we never thought possible. This past year was our son Walkers first best day, he is 4 years old and loves the water so when we found out about the event from a friend we knew we had to check it out. The name of the foundation couldn't be more perfect. We showed up not knowing what to expect and we left with a day full of smiles, laughs and memories. We as parents where so proud to see Walker out there paddle boarding and catching a wave with the help of the amazing volunteers. The picture and videos we got were shared with all our family it gave them such joy seeing how happy Walker was doing all these awesome things. He was so happy just to be in the water playing with his buddy Jack who was such a sweet kid, wherever Walker wanted to go jack was ready and willing. We can't thank everyone at the best day foundation enough for doing what they do. Walkers papa asked me what it was like and I told him to sum it up, "it was amazing people doing amazing things for amazing kids" we can't wait to take part in this years event and share in the joy of Walker and all the other kids. I've sent along a few pictures of Walker and all the fun he had. This is defiantly a program That is worth your time and money.
Sincerely Tristyn & Jeremy Richie

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

They should change their name from best day to amazing day! Because that is what they gave our son Walker, they gave him a day to be himself and enjoy so many new things for the first time. He played in the water for hours with one of their amazing buddy's, he paddle boarded he even caught two waves with a fantastic surfer. He slept with the medle he received. This day will forever be one of our favorite days and now a yearly tradition! Thank you best day!

1 abcambridge

Board Member

Rating: 5

Best Day Foundation is a volunteer organization that helps children with special needs build confidence and self-esteem through safe, fun, adventure activities like surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more. Please join us in creating special days for children with Autism, Down syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, blindness, cancer, spinal cord injuries, and other physical and developmental challenges.

Best Day Foundation is an amazing organization with a dedicated group of people behind it. Hearing stories from parents about the wonderful experiences their children get to enjoy is truly heart warming. I am proud to be a part of Best Day which brings so much joy into people's lives.

2 Ana-Lilia P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My son has had the honor of participating, and I of volunteering with this amazingly, awesome organization for the past four years.
Words cannot begin to express the emotional, psychological, and physical high, my son is on when he's out on the water trying to catch those roaring waves!
Mike, Chris, Todd, Kevin, Barb and Kerry, are unwavering in their dedication, passion, and love, when it comes to putting that beautifully, beaming smile on our truly special kiddos.
It takes a village................and we are beyond blessed, to be part of this one.
Best Day is the trunk, my son is the foliage, and I am the coconut, that falls from tree in deep admiration

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Truly a superb organization, led by selfless, devoted,loving volunteers!
Because of the Mike,Chris, Todd, my son becoomes a totally different person........a free, loving, spirit, waiting to catch a wave, n ride it in, on the board, like it's second nature!
The enthusiasm builds up slowly as soon as I sign him,and is full blown on his" surf day", as he calls it.
I wish I'd win the lotto, so I could joyfully give to such a deserving non-profit organization, that is Best Day!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This was our first event with Best Day Foundation at Brick III Beach and I am eager to attend more events. Right from the start at check in my son was assigned his buddies Gabby and Arianna, What more can I say about those 2 girls then fabulous, understanding, going with the flow, caring, patient, I can go on and on. It took my son a little time to warm up but in no time they had him playing and I was able to separate, not an easy task for us. When I saw the participants and volunteers coming on to the beach with the entire organization cheering them on, it brought tears to my eyes. To see my son and everyone's children welcomed and feel so special, no words to describe that as a mom. Most of the time our families are in doctor appointments, therapies/treatments, school meetings, with what seems like an endless battle. A day at the beach, impossible for me. For a few hours we could forget those diagnosis and challenges our families deal with and have fun!

The event overall ran smoothly with so many people in attendance, all the children had the ability to participate in all the events offered. Seeing the volunteers encourage children who were hesitating and then they would succeed on getting them in the water or on a surf board and for some just putting a helmet on. I watched the volunteers with a young boy, the volunteers all put on helmets to help him, wear his. They did all they could! Hearing chuckles and seeing smiles between those ocean waves, sight and sound I will never forget, especially my own sons. I could continue to rave and go on and on about your organization but think it is best to say, thank you for the Best Day Ever not just for my son but for myself also.

2 Wenlin A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My two young sons had the best day at Ventura Beach with Best Day Foundation. They got to do the things that they've never done before like surfing, kayaking, and more with wonderful caring volunteers at their sides. The foundation provided great safety gears and supervision. My husband and I were busy capturing the moment by snapping photos. The foundation also provided the kids with delicious lunches and great goody bags for suveniors. They each got recognized with a metal award at the end of a fun day. We had an awesome day of our lives. We deeply appreciate all you do for these disabled children in our community. Best of luck on your mission.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

We had an amazing time in Ventura with Best Day! My son loved the surfing, we met great people, everything felt safe and well organized. Can't wait to visit again.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son had the most amazing time! The organizers were so pumped and excited my son totally fed off their energy. We were so lucky to be able to truly have " The best Day ever!" With Best Day Foundation.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The days I've spent volunteering at Best Day have been the best days of my life. You can definitely find me there all six days next summer.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't say enough about the best Day foundation. We took both our children with autism surfing today in Brick NJ and the experience was awesome from beginning to end. The volunteers and workers were so professional and caring and it was so organized. We don't often go to the beach because it's difficult but they make it so fun for the kids and the parents can actually watch and enjoy their kids surfing. They gave my children an experience they soon won't forget. I love the awards ceremony and lunch at the end. It was the BEST DAY EVER as my son said.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Joshua was lucky enough to expience a Best Day that he will never forget! The staff and volunteers were absolutely amazing and we are beyond greatful for the amazing opportunity.
When I asked Joshua what his favorite part of the day was he said "all of it, it is my special day!". He gave every activity a try and at the end of the day he was so proud of himself.
The staff and volunteers did a outstanding job at making every child feel special and awesome. The people who worked the event were truly the number one reason Joshua had such an amazing day. The encouragement they gave Joshua gave him the confidence he needed to try new activities that he on any other day would most likely not do.
The smiles on the all the children's faces when they received a medal at the end of the day was as a mother my favorite part of the day. Watching my son smile and having a awesom day was a amazing experience for me as well.
Thank you so much Best Day!!
The Diaz Family

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just got home from the August 2 event on Brick III beach. All I can say was " that was the best day ever" I was a volunteer and just the amount of love and smiles and happy giggles from the kids made my heart swell! What an amazing group of organizers, volunteers and most of all family's and the amazing kids that participate. Truly one of the best days I have had.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little did I know I was in for the best day of my life volunteering with the Best Day Foundation. I was instantly in awe of the positive energy of the child I was partnered up with. A kid like no other, he was only looking forward to what the day had in store. Not only did Nathan expand what he thought was possible in himself, but so did I.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was at the beach earlier this summer. Two teenaged boys were standing in the shallow surf, talking about their favorite sports. The taller of the boys said his favorite sport was surfing, and the other agreed. Then the taller boy headed out on a board to ride the waves. Totally typical interaction, except for one thing. The surfer was an adolescent with cognitive disabilities, and his buddy was just your average teen with an extraordinarily big heart. Best Day made it possible for both boys to experience something they wouldn't have otherwise, because chances are, they would not have run across one another in school or in their social circles. Beyond the fun of surfing, paddleboarding, body boarding, or skiing and sledding, those types of interactions are what Best Day is all about.

At a Best day event, youth with disabilities get to enjoy the types of beach and snow experiences that typically developing individuals sometimes take for granted. Volunteers who love outdoor activities get to share that love with people who otherwise face barriers to participating. It is safe, warm, and inviting. Nobody talks about doctors or procedures or school struggles...it's just the best day ever. The very, very Best Day.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a teacher for students with moderate to severe disabilities and as a mother of a volunteer, I have seen the results of the amazing experience from all! Keep up the great work! You are providing joy, adventure, inclusion, friendship, and respect to all participants!!!!

1 cweg123

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Best Day Foundation truly does provide the best day for both participants and volunteers. I felt like this was the first time where my volunteering was making a difference in someone's life. I couldn't say enough positive things about this organization and the amazing work they do for the families and children who participate.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a student, community service and volunteerism is normally considered to be boring. However, Best Day is the highlight of my summer and winter. I look forward to going on the weekends it's in my area, meeting new friends, and creating special days for special kids. The staff is welcoming, patient, kind and understanding. Best Day has provided me with the ultimate experience in working with kids with a wide range of disabilities. I am beyond grateful for it. Thanks to these events, I am now able to communicate more efficiently with American Sign Language users with having worked with the kids so often. I'm looking forward to yet another great year!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the wonderful opportunity to volunteer with Best Day Foundation in September in Newport Beach and today at Doheny Beach in Dana Point. I can't tell you how blessed I feel to be a small part of this organization. It truly is "The Best Day" for these beautiful children. To see their smiles and waving hands out on a kayak or standing on a paddleboard was spectacular! My two kids volunteered with me and we all enjoyed our day and can't wait to help out next year. The organizers of this event are so friendly and giving and seem to be running a great organization. They are so patient with the children and keep them safe. Thank you for all you do! Keep up the great work:)

2 Betty37

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Me and my boys enjoyed the day with Best Day in Ventura, CA this last Saturday. My Adrian is 12 and has autism. He was able to surf, outrig, stand up paddle board, boggie board and kayack. He had an amazing time. Last year he was able to enjoy the events in Newport, CA. Such a great time.

My 13 year old son was a volunteer buddy to a 15 year old blind boy. He had such a great time and wants to do it again! He enjoyed helping out!

Me the mom, have volunteered at this event in Ventura, CA, Newport Beach, CA and Seal Beach, CA. Enjoyed playing with the kids and helping out Best Day! Such an awesome organization with alot of loving hearts for these special children. Giving them wonderful experiences and giving their parents a break. So caught my heart! It's nice for these kids to experience these things in such a safe setting! So wonderful for the parents to be able to sit back and relax or take pictures. And enjoy seeing their kiddos having fun! Looking forward to the next event in Dana Point! Thank you Best Day for all you do! Betty

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This October we participated in our 2nd Best Day Surf event and it was one of the best times my son has had. We have known about it for over a year now and the work that they do is truly magical. They have given my son a love for the water that will last a lifetime.

Each and every volunteer needs to be recognized for all their efforts and I would encourage the public to participate if you ever get the chance. The joy it brings to all the kids that are a part of it is definitely worth your time.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK BEST DAY FOUNDATION!!!

1 Judy122

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Best Day is an incredible organization who really knows how to empower kids with special needs. Not only that, they also serve as a great role model for other kids as they allow them to volunteer as well. It's such a heartwarming sight to see kids helping kids. It's impossible to go to a Best Day event and not have a BEST DAY!! Whether you're the child, the parents, siblings, friends or volunteers... everyone experiences the pure joy of interacting with these amazing children. Best Day also thinks outside the box to ensure the kids will have unique and powerful experiences. 5 years ago they contacted me asking if my dog, Ricochet could be part of the events to give children a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact and surf with a SURFice dog. Just recently they made Ricochet an Ambassador, and we couldn't be more honored. Please join me in supporting this great non profit!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Best Day Foundation is unreal.
There is nothing more rewarding than the ear to ear smiles on the faces of these kids.
It's truly something special.
I can't tell you how many times I've had a Best Day t-shirt on and somebody has come up to thank me.
It's a gift that keeps on giving.
Sign up for an event, I guarantee it's the best thing you'll ever do.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband & I both volunteer with the Ventura Chapter of Best Day. I don't know who leaves with a bigger smile on their faces; the kids or the volunteers! To be able to have children with special needs participate in activities that are usually not available for them, is nothing short of spectacular.
Sometimes at the start of the day's activities, the kids are somewhat leery, not digging the wetsuits or helmets. They will state "I am not surfing today". At the end of the day, they are beaming with pride & their accomplishment of having surfed!! I love that Best Day allows the parents to sit on the beach, relax & have a moment for themselves, while their children are being cared for by an outstanding group of volunteers. Either to be a volunteer or participant, you will come away with the BEST DAY ever!

1 James145

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Top notch organization! I have had the distinct privilege to be able to volunteer with Best Day multiple times in the past years and I can not say enough good things. The staff is very dedicated to each event and they put in 110% to ensure the kids and parents walk away with an experience of a lifetime! If you have a chance, come out, volunteer, and see for yourself...Like this weekend in Ventura!!

Love you Best Day and thank you for giving me the opportunity to lend a helping hand :)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has special needs. When my husband, son and I got to the event that day in Ventura it was smiles and fun from the very second we signed in. High fives, encouragement, other families to visit with, and instant friends. Our son was paired up with a beach buddy. She was young, fresh faced and energetic which was great because I'm too old to run around the beach all day. When our son went out to catch a wave it was simply amazing. And I don't use that word lightly. Everything is amazing these days. But this really was. He had no fear because every step of the way there was a professional helping him and encouraging him and they were RIGHT THERE if anything bad happened. Which nothing did because the waves were perfect and the day was organized to a tee and it just was THE BEST DAY EVER. We'll never ever forget it. Our son talks about it to this day. It is not to be missed.

1 Janice39

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family first became involved in Best Day when my daughter, who has a rare neurological disorder, was a participant. Seeing her out in the ocean surfing with the pro volunteers was truly amazing. She said she felt like a superhero riding the waves. It was such a positive experience, I and my other daughter volunteered as a way of giving back. Volunteering was equally inspiring. There is something magical that happens when kids with physical and mental challenges are given the opportunity to just be kids. It truly is the BEST day!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard about Best Day foundation though an acquaintance. He knew I was involved with other non profits and said hey, " you should really come to a Best Day event and check it out. They are awesome!" So I did and it was! Now I'm a lifer! This is my fourth season with the Best Day Orange County Chapter and I recently volunteered for an event with the Ventura chapter.There are truly not enough expletives in the human language to describe how wonderful this organization in or how how much its participants, their families and our overcome staff and volunteers have come to mean to me. Best Day events are the ultimate equalizer. In an instant children are capable, parents are supported and volunteers naturally fall into their supporting roles. All of this happens simultaneously. Regardless of the disability of the child or the inexperience of the volunteer. It is an awesome dynamic no matter how many times I see it I am always amazed at how every event is so organic, free flowing, and natural. Best Day campaigns promise all participants and their volunteers the Best Day ever! And that is no empty promise. Every event is the Best Day EVER! I hope you recognize them for their contributions not just for changing the lives of the families they help but also the volunteers. You can not volunteer for a Best Day event and not be changed by one. Its a community that gives love freely of itself to everyone that enters into it. Thank you Best Day Foundation for all the joy you have brought into the lives of so many families including my own. I am a better human being because you exist to serve and better humanity in the capacity that you do. Some of my Beat Days Ever I have shared with all of you.♡

1 Dan_69

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After volunteering for Best Day Foundation at well over 30 events it is safe to say that, each and every time I am overwhelmed by the selflessness that all the volunteers bring to every event. For me personally working with the kids has been an experience of a lifetime. To witness the kids transformation and see the confidence they gain is nothing short of amazing. The smiles and laughter for the participants is truly hart warming and really makes me proud to be apart of it..

1 Jilly B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of being part of the Best Day Foundation family for the past 3 years in Orange County, CA. It never fails me that I leave each event in awe of those who donate their weekend to help provide a very special group of children with the best day possible. Watching a child accomplish an activity that was thought not possible will not only change your perspective of their capabilities but inspire you to do and be more.

Each event brings something new to the table and each event I leave knowing that I have been taught to take a step back and appreciate the human body and spirit. The kids who participate in these events truly touch our heart and lives. With that, we continually return season after season.

True beauty in the world is found in the smile of a child.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Every year my entire family volunteers at a Best Day event at Brick Beach in NJ. It is an awe inspiring day for all of us. Best Day is an amazingly well organized and professional group. The staff is incredible. Our three teenagers look forward to this day every summer!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The volunteers were amazing! My 2 children (both Autistic) just recently attended the surfers event at Seal Beach in June, and I was amazed by the kindness, patience, and overall fun that they showed my kids. This is an awesome organization, and we definitely plan on participating in future events. If I could give 10 stars to Best Day Foundation, I would. :) I highly recommend the experience they offer. My kids had an amazing day!

1 Diane61

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a pro surf photographer, I have volunteered for Best Day's Orange County, CA events for the past 2 years. I am so honored to be able to capture the faces of the kids as they experience the joy of catching waves or just spending a day on the water. This organization is so well run and it always keeps its focus true by making the events all about the kids. I love watching the other volunteers connecting with each kid in a special way. Not all kids are eager to participate at first, but with such a nurturing and loving atmosphere at each event, even the most hesitant kid can't resist joining in eventually. Best Day Foundation really does provide "Best Days" for these kids with special needs and their families!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first heard of this fabulous foundation when they set up an event three years ago right near one of my fav spots in Ventura. I was hesitant then. Yet, one year later, after seeing one of their fliers posted about the beach areas, I was pretty excited to attend the next event scheduled. You see, I really wanted to know if they could actually help ME surf; as I was born w/ a physical disabilities. They immediately embraced the idea. And with that, I asked if I could be of any help right then and there. I was therefore, desIgnated to handle the registrating of kids that were signed up for that day. And have been ever since! I LOVE BESTDAYFOUNDATION AND ALL THE KIDS AND PARENTS OF THOSE KIDS. Every year these kids look forward to one of the BESTDAYSEVER in their lives. It is the same for the parents; to see their children enjoy life in this degree, is the best reward, for me, at the end of one of our events. GO TEAM! And yes, I HAVE SURFED TWICE NOW WITH THE BESTDAYFOUNDATION!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My words are not enough to express my gratitude towards "Best Day Foundation" This is one place everyone comes together with all their heart and spirit to give us a "Best Day" in our lives. One has to be there to experience what it means to give this day to people who are challenged to have even simple pleasures like walking in sun. I whoeheartedly support this foundation and wish its continued sucess.

1 Renee26

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I vounteered for the first time and I left with a smile both on my face and in my heart. So many people came together to do something so wonderful for kids who under normal, everyday situations, may not have been able to have this experience. The kids were so happy to be in the water, to be doing something new and different, to be the center of attention in a positive way. This day was supposed to be all about them, focus on the kids, give the kids a great day - but it was more than that. I walked away feeling so happy to see the kids so happy, to see how many good people there are who would give up a day to make strangers happy. The smile on the kids' faces as they rode in on the surfboards or kyaks, or the laughing from the beach buddies as they were being burried in the sand - those things you can't fake or force. The genuine love and support that comes from this group of people is unreal and I was so happy to be a part of that and I plan to go back for as many events as I can next year. I brought my two 7 year old daughters with me and they were beach buddies with me to a beautiful, sweet 7 year old boy. I want them to see what joy giving time to others can bring to those people, and to yourself. I will go back and do this not only to give my help to others, but because I truly had a wonderful time and strongly believe in this foundation.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Though I have not yet volunteered for Best Day (and I fully intend to), I have witnessed the joy it brings to the children firsthand. The Ventura chapter holds their surfing/bodyboarding events in front of my house on the Ventura Promenade. My curiosity was piqued one day by the cheers, laughter and clapping I heard from the beach when they held an event a few months ago. I walked down to the beach and couldn't stop the tears of joy from falling! Best Day had a rather large group of what appeared to be blind and/or developmentally disabled kids actually experiencing the ocean through different modes. The volunteers were plentiful and were so enthusiastic and engaging with the kids. Some of the kids were hesitant to go in the water, but the patient volunteers were so kind, encouraging and understanding. There were some kids building sand castles to ease their way towards the water. Others were boogie boarding with what seemed to be no less than 5 volunteers to each child. The more assertive kids surfed with, again, 4 or 5 volunteers each. What a highly organized, very necessary and oh so wonderful organization Best Day truly is!

1 James60

Client Served

Rating: 5

To understand Best Day you first need to know about my son. Jesse is 5 now, he is severely autistic, non-verbal, and has seizures. Jesse lives a life of toil, from going to school full time when he was four (and part time at three) to the 2 hours of therapy everyday after school. Surfing with Best Day makes it all better. Jesse loves the water and the experience they provide is unmatched. For one day Jesse gets to do what he loves. No one expects him to try to talk, to socialize, to complete academic tasks. For one day he is just like any other kid playing at the beach. As a parent it fills me with so much joy to see him with an unabashed smile, doing something he loves, and feeling succesful. That so many do so much just to give us that is beyond compare. I just can not articulate how positive our experience has been

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for Best Day about two years now and I really don't know where I would be without it. The kids that are there are so amazing and it humbles me every time working with them. The committee in Ventura is purely amazing and are like another family to me. Everything about this foundation, from the kids, volunteers and the sponsors. Couldn't ask for anything better and I always leave with a smile and endless amounts of stoke!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Didn't learn about this event until a few days before but it seemed amazing so I decided to go. I am so thankful that I decided to go because it was an amazing day full of smiles, laughter and fun. Nothing could make me happier than helping a child enjoy a day to their fullest.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering as a beach staff volunteer for almost three years with Best Day Foundation because of the amazing and unique opportunity it gives not only to the special needs kids that it serves but also to the diverse crowd of volunteers who get to interact with these amazing children and better understand those individuals that they might not otherwise know and appreciate from their own communities. Thank you Best Day Ventura and Santa Barbara!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at a Best Day event in Brick Township, NJ. It was by far, my favorite day of summer! I enjoyed working with all of the volunteers and participants to make it such a rewarding day for everyone. I cannot wait to be a part of another Best Day event!

1 April19

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has a dravet syndrome and is mentally delayed with limited speech. She loves the water and when I found out about this foundation I was excited and a little nervous having my daughter be in the ocean. It was the BEST day ever for her. We were greeted and giving a buddy to help her go to the different activities. She had the biggest smile on her face when she did the stand up paddle boards. There were so many volunteers in the water and the person assisting her was a professional. I felt so happy seeing her out on the water and felt very comfortable. Before we left they had the kids walk through a group of people cheering for them and at the end got a medal and a bucket full of goodies. To this day I still tear up when thinking about all the nice people who made that day so special for my daughter. I can't say enough about how awesome this foundation is. April ( mom to Sarah age 7)

1 Nancy79

Volunteer

Rating: 5


I am an organizer at heart and when I arrived in Ventura over 2 years ago after a 16-year hiatus from CA, I was quickly recruited by a new friend to provide administrative and organizational support to Best Day's first chapter. I fell in love with Best Day and its ability to bring so many varying members of the community together to create magic on the beach. For everyone involved - participants, their parents and the volunteers and community members that support us, each event is truly a "best day".

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Everybody there is committed to making the participants (in this case, my daughter with Autism) feel valued, special, capable and comfortable.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the most rewarding and enjoyable non-profits i have volunteered for. The staff is full of nothing but kindness and the smiles on the participants faces throughout the day is something that cannot be replicated! I wish there were more events through the year so that we could get even more kids out in the water, as it has been a blast to be a part of this program, as well as watch it grow over the years into something so magical!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son participated in Best Day and he truly had the most amazing experience! The volunteers were so organized which is key in keeping my son's attention the entire day. He surfed, kayaked, played games and interacted with volunteers and participants - very successful day! He came out of the experience wanting to surf and waking up each morning asking if he can go to the ocean and get a surf board !

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Best Day for a few years now and it has been incredible. It is such a rewarding experience to be able to help special needs children enjoy the ocean. Their smiles and hugs throughout the day are evidence enough that this day has a huge impact on their life. I will continue to participate in Best Day events for as long as possible.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My little sister has participated in a handful of Best Day activities in our region. She has had so much fun accomplishing things we can't teach her on our own. Best Day brings all the equipment and has considered all the details in putting together these events. The scores of volunteers help assure families that their precious children are in good hands and a safe environment. It's the volunteers that bring the programs alive! But most importantly, our whole family comes home happy-- children and PARENTS who are beside themselves with enthusiasm for the day's activities. Best Day Foundation is a GREAT Nonprofit that deserves a lot more recognition for the work they do.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

My autistic son had a great experience with Best Day. They were able to get him interested in surfing and they really had a great program for special needs kids. If you get a chance to bring your child to one of their events do it!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Nothing compares to the ear to ear smile of a child who surfs and boogie boards for the first time. For a child with special needs some activities are out of reach. The Best Day Foundation provides access to the ocean for thousands of children and young adults. Best Day Foundation provides safe, fun, activities like surfing, bodyboarding, kayaking, snow sports, and more while building self-confidence and self-esteem. Many families of special needs children could not do these activities without the volunteers that serve as buddies on the sand, transition teams in the water or the surfing and boogie boarding teams in the water. Each child is surrounded by love, support and most importantly, encouragement to do something they might have though impossible. Best Day brings out the best in both the participants and volunteers. Actually, the volunteers will never be the same.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

At each event I attend I'm touched in ways I could never imagine. By phenomenal children with special needs who inspire me with their bravery, trust, and spirit. By parents who show incredible love and patience. By volunteers who step up and open their hearts, forming instant life-time bonds with these amazing children, playing with them, sharing the ocean and snow, cheering for them, and loving & caring for them like their own kids or siblings. I did the tech start up thing for nine years seeking to get rich - which never happened. Co-founding and running Best Day Foundation since 2008 has made me an emotional billionaire. All the time, I get to see how truly wonderful life is, how amazing people are, what's possible when people help each other. I'm forever blessed and eternally grateful for that. Best Day is the best thing I've done with my life.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Best Day Foundation has such a positive effect on all involved from the kids with special needs who participate in the adventure activities to the volunteers, and even the children's parents. I've spoken with big tough guys brought to tears about having life changing moments being inspired by kids tacking on intimidating activities. I've seen kids who didn't want to even touch the sand end up getting into a wetsuit and surfing and then not wanting to get out of the water, all thanks to the helpful encouragement and patience of volunteers sharing their time and passion with kids who wouldn't have the chance. I've spoken to parents who told me that they had a whole new vision of what was possible for their children. Best Day has and continues to have an incredibly positive impact on my life on a daily basis. I consider myself fortunate to be a volunteer and board member and part of the Best Day family.