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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 1,900 children with special needs in 65 beach and snow events in California, New Jersey, and New York.

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

Programs: Best Day offers beach events in California and New Jersey, and snow events in New York.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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!

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

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

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 redtila

Client Served

Rating: 5

My Friend told me about this foundation, since her son had participated in the past..
My 5 year old has Apraxia, so its hard for him to communicate, and gets teased alot from other kids due to his severe speech delay, and when i saw that this foundation accepted kids with Apraxia, i was soo happy.:)

From the min it starts, they welcome all participants with a fun running activity, and they clap while the kids run, it was soo amazing. My son felt soo special and loved. It actually made me tear up..

They pair your kid up with a buddy, and the buddy is with him all day. My son's buddy was AMAZING!! she was soo nice and patient with him!!! Even on some events that he was afraid to do, she was extremely patient and helped him get his mind off of it, and he felt more comfortable as time passed. She was absolutely amazing!! We are friends til this day.:)

The whole day was absolutely amazing. My son tried surfing and kayaking. He had a great time.

I would highly recommend this foundation. They make your child feel incredible and so special for the day!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great time. Absolutely worth the $30 participation fee. My child made lifetime memories.

1 Christine178

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seeing the genuine smile on my son's face! I was prepared for his anxieties to get the best of him, and for him to be scared and overwhelmed, but all of the staff and volunteers were fantastic at being encouraging, making our son feel comfortable, and SAFE. I was so impressed with how comfortable I felt with him being in the ocean with strangers. I appreciated the security measures taken, with having multiple people to one participant while in the water. Our son felt so genuinely happy and confident that day. In general, he's a very pensive, and serious kind of fella, so to see him radiating so much pure joy, and excitement made us happy to tears for him! Thank you for such a wonderful day!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Amazing organization! My 9 yr old son attended one of their beach days in Santa Barbara; our family was so impressed with the organization of the day! He was able to try kayaking, boogie-boarding and surfing with the help of amazing volunteers! Our son is autistic, very shy and often does not know how to properly express himself; the volunteers in the water and his buddy who was coordinating his next event were so friendly, encouraging, and helpful; our boy had such a blast and was so proud that he even had a wipe-out like a real surfer. Although our son is considered high-functioning, he is unable to keep-up with typical sports classes, so we are SO thankful to BestDayFoundation for giving him the opportunity to try these sports in such a welcoming environment that made him feel happy and accepted. Best Day also provided snacks and lunch, and our son could not have been prouder to receive his medal at the end of the day to the cheers of all the volunteers! We hope this non-profit continues to provide these fun days for our kids!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born with a rare craniofacial syndrome and had never even boogie boarded before this incredible day with Best Day Foundation. It was amazing for me to see her having an experience she would probably never otherwise attempt. They were so good and safe too, it assuaged my fears. We hope to attend future best day events. Thank you!!!!

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.

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.