Boaters asked to consider donating their vessel

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It's the end of the year, which means scores of non-profit organizations across the country are seeking to get your tax-deductible donation by Dec. 31.

However, there is only one way boaters can give back and help themselves at the same time - by making a donation to the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. The non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation needs support for boating safety and clean water programs. Here are 10 reasons to consider a tax-deductible donation to the Foundation before Dec, 31:

1. Each year, the foundation puts more than 90,000 kids in life jackets with the Kids Life Jacket Loaner program, saving three youngsters' lives to date.

2. The foundation educates more than 60,000 boaters a year in the comfort of their own home through the free online boating safety course.

3. It has tested hundreds of safety and environmental boating products and shared the results in Foundation Findings, an ongoing series of comprehensive reports.

4. The EPIRBrental program for offshore passagemakers has saved 62 lives.

5. Foundation staff and volunteers have assembled and delivered more than 1,000 monofilament fishing line recycling bins, keeping fishing line out of our waters.

6. More than $1 million has been distributed to deserving groups through the grassroots boating safety and clean water grant programs.

7. The non-profit is helping more than 1,500 marinas across the nation keep small fuel spills out of the water with the "Help Stop the Drops" clean refueling campaign.

8. The foundation works with organizations such as the Coast Guard, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators and the National Safe Boating Council to develop standards and best practices for safe boating on a national level.

9. Innovative and fun ways to educate boaters are being developed with free online interactive games you can play any time of day.

10. The primary beneficiaries for all of the good work the foundation does are boaters like you.

You can make a donation online at www.BoatUS.com/foundation/donate.htm or via mail: BoatU.S. Foundation, 880 South Pickett St., Alexandria, VA, 22304.