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Yachts can take you to remote destinations and offer the ultimate luxury experiences, but they can also serve as the perfect tool to help others in need. Here are some of our favorite ways yachts have been used for charity…
Billy Joel Donates Yacht to International Seakeepers Society
Instead of selling his custom-designed luxury yacht, Billy Joel decided to donate the yacht to the International Seakeepers Society in August 2016. The International Seakeepers Society promotes oceanographic research, conservation and education through direct involvement with the yachting community.
Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust
Back in August 2016, the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust announced that it used a grant from the People’s Postcode Lotter to purchase a new Bénéteau Oceanis 45’ sailing yacht.
The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust based in East Cowes, England helps children with mobility issues caused by cancer to get out on the water. The new yacht will be crucial in this as it features a lowering transom for easy access.
Xavi Hernández, a former Barcelona and Spain football player, donated his yacht La Pelopina to the non-governmental organization Proactivia Open Arms. The yacht was donated in July 2016 and will be auctioned off to raise funds for the organization, which helps save the lives of refugees attempting to cross the Mediterranean. Proactivia is currently based on the Greek island of Lesbos, which received more than 55,000 refugees in the first six months of the year. Since the beginning of 2016, the organization has raised more than €500,000 to help tackle the refugee crisis.
The Sarasota, Florida based charity SailFuture rehabilitates kids by taking them out of the juvenile penitentiary system and putting them onto sailing yachts. The program works with advocacy groups, judges and attorneys to get high-risk youths out onto the water, instead of locked up behind bars. So far, the organization has transformed more than 150 lives!
Michael Long, founder of SailFuture, said the program’s goal is to use sailing to demonstrate there are healthier and more cost-effective ways to rehabilitate at-risk youths than sending them into a broken system that fails more kids than it saves. Through sailing, the program teaches responsibility, inspires confidence and builds the foundation of lifelong friendships.
Sir Richard Branson
The skipper and crew of Sir Richard Branson’s super yacht Necker Belle stepped in to help deliver aid to St. Maarten following Hurricane Gonzalo. Necker Belle partnered with YachtAidGlobal, a disaster relief program dedicated to providing aid and humanitarian support to remote communities. Over the past decade, the organization has delivered aid to over 20 countries in collaboration with more than 40 super yachts and over 400 crew members. This has positively impacted more than 100,000 people worldwide.