A little over a year ago, friends of ours introduced us to an amazing organization, Best Day Foundation. Best Day Foundation provides children and young adults (ages 4 -24) with special needs like, Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and Spinal Cord Injuries with a safe, fun, adventure-filled day of surfing. Best Day is run by an experienced team and supported by many generous sponsors who keep the programs free for all.
Best Day was founded in 2008 in California, but friends of ours started the Chesapeake Bay chapter in 2017, brining events to Southern Virginia, Northern North Carolina, and Maryland. The first event was held at Jeanette's Pier in OBX in May of 2017. There are also chapters in Florida and New Jersey.
My friend and co-chair of the Chesapeake Bay Chapter told me, “From the first time we volunteered, we knew we wanted to play a bigger role, so we jumped at the chance. The participants, the volunteers, the parents - everyone is so supportive, grateful and happy. It’s a positive experience in every sense.”
Over the past year, we've heard so many amazing things about this organization. We've participated in local fundraising events throughout this year, but this past weekend we were able to see the magic first hand and volunteer at the chapter's inaugural event in Ocean City, MD.
My husband volunteered and helped the "water team" assist kids in and out of the water while friends of ours were "beach buddies" and were paired with a child to spend the day with. I had the pleasure of capturing the whole day with my camera and it was one of my most favorite events to photograph to-date.
“The world needs more Best Days.”
- Tracy McCreary, co-chair, Chesapeake Bay Chapter
The name of this foundation is so appropriately named because this past Saturday was seriously the BEST DAY. The rain may have caused the event to end abruptly with a group lunch under a parking garage, but the dreary weather didn't dampen the happiness of this day.
The smiles on the kids' faces as they rode those waves in was priceless, but the cheering and high-fiving of the volunteers was just as touching. Bonds were formed between the kids and their "beach buddies" and it was so captivating to watch.
Before the surfing commenced, Spider-Man and Captain America surprised the kids for a super fun warm-up.
Best Day is always looking for volunteers, too, so if you live in CA, VA, NJ, NC, or MD, considering signing up for one of their events! Or if you're up for it, make a trip out of it! The experience will leave a mark on your heart forever.
You can also make a difference with a tax-deductible donation As a volunteer organization, know that your contribution will create more smiles and life changing experiences.
For more information, visit: www.bestdayfoundation.org