Since 2010, the Coast Guard Foundation has provided nearly $1.4 million to support the Coast Guard Shipmate Fund — the program that provides items to units that are not included in the federal budget. In conjunction with the Vice Commandant of the Coast Guard's office, the Coast Guard Foundation is seeking new recommendations from Coast Guard units for a new 2014 Shipmate Fund List.
Thanks to the generosity of the Foundation, Coast Guard units have been able to purchase exercise, morale, and recreational equipment, greatly improving the quality of life for Coast Guard men, women and their families. Requests can be between $250 and $10,000 and must be approved through local units' chain of command.
The Coast Guard Foundation provides support to Coast Guard units, bases and cutters throughout the country. So far in 2013, we have contributed more than $370,000 and we are on pace to increase that support even more. Some of our recent Shipmate Fund accomplishments include robust support in the Gulf Coast region,the Pacific Northwest, Portsmouth, Virginia, and Fort Myers, Florida.
Check out this photo album of Coast Guard members enjoying their Coast Guard Foundation Shipmate Fund Projects.
Shipmate Fund support is divided among different projects across different units, including fitness and recreation equipment for active duty members who use the resources to stay focused and physically fit to meet the demands of a difficult job.
At Station Fort Myers, a donor generously funded $83,000 worth of morale projects, including providing iPod Touches for the enlisted personnel stationed there, and a climbing wall.
The Foundation also helps create a more comfortable work environment, by providing gear that Coast Guard members can use in their free time. Flag football gear for the crew of Station Houston, Texas, and mountain bikes for the Marine Safety Detachment in Nashville, Tennessee filled the need for the Coast Guard members stationed there.
In-ground basketball hoops and equipment, workout room televisions and DVD players were installed at the Marine Safety Unit in Paducah, Kentucky, while the exercise space the Aviation Training Center in Mobile, Alabama was remodeled.
Additionally, the Foundation provides for the families of Coast Guard members with projects such as the playground recently unveiled in Portsmouth, Virginia. The playground equipment was generously funded by a grant from Lockheed Martin Corporation.
The playground is not the only project the Coast Guard Foundation has contributed to the base either. Nearby is a softball field that the Foundation built several years ago. Now, families who are watching a game can keep their kids entertained on the playground.
Shipmate Fund projects such as these give dedicated Coast Guard members the opportunity for education, recreation and wellness activities in their off duty time, so they can excel while on duty, in service to our country.
The 210-foot cutter Venturous, homeported in St. Petersburg, Florida, received a grant for fitness mats and resistance training equipment, to help the crew stay physically fit while underway on long deployments.