Life is good for us sailors. We have a great hobby and we have the means to pursue it. We are lucky! But not everyone is like us and many are at a point in their life when they would need some help, and trust me, any kind of help is welcome.
We came to this realization last year when a friend of ours had to go through some brain surgery, not only one, but two and because it needed to be done in a different country the invoice was … just wow. That was the moment when our concept called sailing 4 charity was born.
We realized that we can help others in a very simple and easy way - by putting our hobby to good use. The idea is very simple and pretty straight forward. We organize each year, a sailing getaway, until now, it was only for a weekend. We rent three or four boats, we get some nice people on board and sail away. Usually we do it in our own backyard, either crossing IJsselmeer from one side to the another (Lemmer to Enkhuizen) or enjoying passing through the beautiful canals of Friesland while admiring its amazing countryside and beautiful villages (it is all about the weather).
How does it actually work for us. We are a very open and lively mini community and we like to make this event to be as fun and friendly as possible. What happens is that we, the organizers, rent a few boats, split the cost among all participants and also add some “charity profit” and this is how we come up with an attendance price. Everyone is fully aware about this and everyone knows is for a good cause. You might ask yourself what is a good cause, well openness and simplicity is again in place. We ask all participants to propose three charities. There are though a few rules to proposing a charity. First of all, it has to be about people. We know that also animals are in need and we have to do more for nature. But for us, this concept is about humans. For us, sailing is about people. Second rule is that it has to go directly to the person in need. Yes, there have been many cases when donated money was used for anything else but helping the person in need. I think many of us have heard about those types of charities who spend a lot of money on administrative expenses. We want to avoid that. Third rule is also very simple. It has to be someone we know or we have direct contact to. It has to be a person who is in need and we can offer immediate help. We do not want to mention here the people we helped, but it was very welcome and right on point. It made us feel we did the right thing. Our “rules” worked so far. Of course, there is always room for improvement.
And one more thing. We do not say to the person we helped much about where the money is coming from. We do not want to be show off. There is a lot of pressure and difficulty in their life at the moment. They do not have to think that they need to send us thank you notes or have the impression they owe us something.
Now that we have the three charities, and in the spirit of openness and community, the raised money goes to the charity that gathers most of the votes. Exactly, all three charities are to be voted by participants and the one with most of the votes gets the amount we raise.
While we spend this weekend on water enjoying the company of others, the scenery and sailing we have a great deal of fun. Each evening we also organize a dinner event with some auctioning and raffle with the same goal. It is always a great fun moment and a good opportunity to offer some of your unused stuff for these activities. What happens is that everyone brings something for the auctioning and the raffle. All the objects brought there as prizes are also from participants.
This year, we had our second edition but more on this in a later article from one of the participants. You will get a first hand impression from one of our this year’s participant.
You might be asking yourself why are we writing about such an event. The answer is quite simple: we want to promote this concept and have other sailors all around the world organize similar events. We consider this to be our version of “pay it forward” concept. It is a simple and yet very fun and effective way of being there for people in need.
After our second edition this year which was a very successful one, we decided to take things to the next level and we plan to launch a website called - www.sailing4charity.com (still work in progress, but at least we have the domain). We have now an instagram account and also facebook page. We are still working on fine tuning our logo. We would like to encourage people to use this idea in their communities and spread the concept and show the world that we care. Therefore please use the hashtag #sailing4charity and feel free to contact us via instagram or our webpage to exchange ideas. We will be available for discussions also on https://community.iqnautics.com/ where we would like to create our own group and category in order to better engage with all of you and organize ourselves better.
We would be happy to promote your events and make this community even bigger. It is so simple because we love doing it.
We also like to thank our charter company, Enjoysailing from Lemmer. They are helping us always with this event. We come to them since many years and we love their customer service and very well maintained boats.
More to come soon but until then, feel free to comment.
P.S. Please remember, this is only a concept and a way of helping others. We do not expect anything from any other people who are organizing similar events under this concept. The only thing that we hope for is that the people using this concept are helping others. That is it.