Non-Profit Spotlight: The Outside Foundation

MISSION

To get kids outside and protect and preserve our local environment.

HISTORY

The Outside Foundation was formed by a group of Outside Hilton Head employees on a mission to reduce the company’s carbon footprint. In 2014, TOF received its 501(c)3 nonprofit status and began work on child- and environment-centered projects. The foundation is operated by executive director Jean Fruh, program director Adam Weatherford, and marketing coordinator Jessie Renew. The signature program operated by TOF is Kids in Kayaks, which has the mission to get every 7th grader in Beaufort County out kayaking. The Foundation reorganized the existing program, rewrote the curriculum and enlisted a group of Master Naturalist volunteers to run the dockside portion of the program. Currently all “South of the Broad” middle schools participate in the program, with an average of 900 students attending each semester. Kids in Kayaks costs students $20 each. The Outside Foundation covers that cost for any student who cannot afford it. In 2017, TOF was awarded a grant from Patagonia to begin a community oyster habitat program called ORRBI (Oyster Recycling and Reef Building Initiative). In partnership with SC Department of Natural Resources, TOF created a oyster shell recycling drop off at The Coastal Discovery Museum at Honey Horn, enlisted 13 local restaurants to have their shells collected by i2 recycle, hosted volunteer shell baggings and built an oyster reef in the Cooper River. The Outside Foundation also hosts an annual event called The Keep the Broad Creek Clean Festival. Since its inception, TOF has organized trash collection and recycling efforts in the area.

WHO IT HELPS

Local children and the local environment.

HOW TO HELP

Various volunteer opportunities are available every year including facilitating the Kids in Kayaks program, participating in oyster shell baggings and reef builds (July 2 and 30), and volunteering to collect litter on a kayak-based cleanup (Aug. 13) or beach cleanup (July 6 and Sept. 7). Attending and contributing to one of its fundraisers, which provides financial support for its programs (Lowcountry Boil Paddle Battle Sept. 7 and Page Island Oyster Roast on March 1). Direct donations can be made through the Outside Foundation website, by shopping on Amazon smile or by dining at Dockside on Skull Creek this summer and “rounding up” your bill.

MORE INFORMATION ON THE OUTSIDE FOUNDATION

Call 304-642-1820 or go to outsidefoundation.org and sign up for the email list. facebook.com/outsidefoundation