The Boat Owner’s Association of the United States (BoatUS) Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Program for Kids, which helps parents, boaters and anglers get the right-sized life jacket for youngsters at over 500 locations across the country, is looking to expand.
Now you can have a say in where the new locations for the program will be located - in your community, at your boat club or waterfront business - by simply going to the Foundation's Facebook page or website
and voting for your picks by May 12, 2013. The locations with the most votes will become new Loaner Program sites.
'The voting process allows us to best gauge those communities with the greatest need for a loaner site,' added BoatUS Foundation Outreach Manager Alanna Keating. 'We also want applicants to help spread the word about keeping kids safe with our life jackets.' This year's new sites are made possible by a generous donation from the National Marine Bankers Association.
Due to children's growth spurts or last minute changes to the roster of invited guests, kids often don't have the right-sized life jacket - or, tragically, sometimes none at all. The no-cost loaner program, which on average loans out life jackets over 140,000 times each year, makes it easy. Parents and boaters can simply go to www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/LJLP
to find a location near them. All they have to do is sign out a right-sized jacket and return it when they are finished boating for the afternoon, day or weekend.
There is also no cost to the loaner sites and, once accepted into the program, the site will receive a life jacket loaner 'kit' - a protective container that holds various sized life jackets for kids, signage, promotional materials and easy-to-use sign-out sheets to track usage. Since the program began nearly 20 years ago, at least three children's lives have been saved.
For more information on the program or the life jacket laws in your state, please visit www.BoatUS.com/Foundation/LJLP