Newell Brands, a leading global consumer goods company, answered a call from the Sea Tow Foundation, a nonprofit focused on boating safety, by donating more than 10,000 Stearns and Coleman branded life jackets and floating cushions, which will help keep people safe across the country.
The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program is the largest of its kind in the world, with more than 1,300 stands across all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., American Samoa and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Established to prevent drowning, each stand has life jackets ranging in size from infant to adult extra-large that boaters can borrow and return free of charge to help ensure a safe day on the water. During the 2023 boating season, the Sea Tow Foundation received more than 250 Life Jacket Loaner Program applications from 46 states–a record number–which created the gap of 15,000 life jackets between what communities and organizations need and what the Sea Tow Foundation was able to provide through grants and donations.
“We are extremely appreciative of Newell Brands’ enormously generous donation to our Life Jacket Loaner Program,” says Gail R. Kulp, executive director of the Sea Tow Foundation.
Of the 10,000 total donated life jackets and floating cushions, 1,200 life jackets are being shipped to the Sea Tow Foundation for distribution to Life Jacket Loaner Station Hosts across the country. Another 1,700 life jackets are being shipped to Sea Tow Venice in Florida as a central distribution point to help replenish supply and re-establish loaner stations hosted by them and other groups in Southwest Florida that were affected by Hurricane Ian last fall. The remaining 7,300 life jackets and floating cushions are being made available for boating safety groups to pick up at a Newell Brands warehouse in Olathe, Kansas.