Outside Foundation finalist in national competition

Outside Foundation is contest finalist

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - One local non-profit organization is a finalist in a national online competition and in the running for a custom vehicle that its executive director says would be a game-changer for them.

The Outside Foundation is one of five non-profits remaining for the Defender Above and Beyond Service Award.

The Beaufort-based organization operates a Kids in Kayak Program in which every 7th grader in Beaufort County gets to spend a day on the water. They also do beach, park and waterway cleanups and run an oyster shell recycling program.

They were nominated in the contest by Peacock Automotive and are up against larger non-profits from New York and Hawaii. But executive director Jean Fruh says none of the other finalists would utilize the grand prize of a custom-built Land Rover Defender as effectively as the Outside Foundation would.

“We may not be much older, there are some young ones, but we’re certainly small. We’re not in a big municipal area. We serve Beaufort County and the Lowcountry, but we focus on such an important resource and that is the youth of the Lowcountry. That to me means we have the ability to have great impact here and that impact will affect our region. So, we might be small as a non-profit and as a grassroots organization, but our impact is big. We take over 1,000 kids in our Kids in Kayaks Program, we can increase that. We have over 100 kids in our after school Boys and Girls Club program, we can increase that. We can certainly capture more shell. The more oyster shell we capture to put back greatly enhances the sustainability of out local oyster population. Who doesn’t benefit from that? Who doesn’t love our local oysters? So, that’s important work.”

You can vote once per day until May 3 by clicking this link.

Copyright 2021 WTOC. All rights reserved.