The Coast Guard Foundation provides support to Coast Guard units, bases and cutters throughout the country through the Shipmate Fund. In 2013, we contributed nearly $400,000 and we are on pace to increase that support even further. Some of our recent Shipmate Fund accomplishments include robust support in the Gulf Coast region, Portsmouth, Virginia, and Fort Myers, Florida.
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