Urban’s Corner Challenged America - Seems like the same questions are always asked of me... 'How is Challenged America doing? How are you able to keep the program going with the high cost of boating? Are you still offering no-cost sailing to hundreds yearly? How do you do it?'
And my response has always sounded like the tides ... they continue to come in and then flow out. There are good times and bad times, and Challenged America is now in a receding tide or (I say) an in-coming tide.
Last year, 2013, was definitely a running tide heading out to sea. Between personal and medical issues which limited my work performance and created a number of health issues, donations and gifts dramatically dropping to rising costs of operations, the beginning of 2014 found the Challenged America program, and the charity, at its lowest financial ebb in more than 15 years. Yet, with this, sailing continued and the number of Wounded Warriors-disabled veterans, kids, and adults with disabilities served remained at a high level, with greater than 900 sailing experiences in our small boat program alone.
'A single breaker may recede; but the tide is evidently coming in.'
With your support, the coming high tides of 2014 will surely be upon us. We are now selling off a number of vessels in our current fleet - to catch up on financial obligations -- and replace many of the boats sold with newly donated vessels. We are seeking new business advisors and to add to our current board of directors, and continually seek new avenues of revenue for the charity, to include exploration of entrepreneurial opportunities - increasing employment outcomes for participants with disabilities and volunteers in the charity's programs.
Over the past 37 years, Challenged America has experienced many cycles of the tides, some dramatic and some quite mild, with few noticing a change. And we're currently in the midst of another change in the tide. How dramatic it will be will be dependent upon how much support we get from program participants and volunteers, sponsors and supporters -- i.e. You.
Let's all lend a helping hand to the incoming tide of 2014. Do what we can, even what we may feel uncomfortable in doing. Tell others about the Challenged America program. Ask for support, financial assistance, donation of products, services, and even donation of their vessels or the vessels and vehicles of those they know, attend fundraising and other events, help out with one or more of the committees - fundraising (Windmakers), public relations, vessel maintenance, communications, etc. You, your company or where you work, and those you know surely have resources and a talent that could benefit the Challenged America program and the charity - the Disabled Businesspersons Association.
With your support, we can assure that Challenged America will be providing no-cost therapeutic sailing experiences for another 37 years to the next generation of kids and adults with disabilities as San Diego's only (no-cost) Community Sailing Program for the Disabled, and their loved ones. Challenged America website