Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How the Coast Guard Foundation Works

The Evergreen Fund
A Coast Guard boat keeps watch over American waters.
A Coast Guard boat keeps watch over American waters.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

One of the ways that the Coast Guard Foundation (CGF) helps support the men and women who keep watch over our shores is through the Evergreen Fund. This fund addresses health, wellness and recreational needs that aren't provided for within the military budget. Many of these initiatives are small efforts, but each has an impact and collectively, the Evergreen Fund has serviced all nine national districts and more than 250 Coast Guard units. From 2002 to 2007, The Evergreen Fund placed more than $2.5 million worth of equipment in Coast Guard facilities [source: Coast Guard Magazine].

Here are a few examples of the small projects that can make a big difference in the quality of life of Coast Guard members and their families:

  • A Coast Guard station received a grant to modernize its training facilities
  • A station opened a learning center with a laptop, projector and Rosetta Stone language software
  • Support Command Boston received funding to purchase College-Level Examination Program exam manuals
  • Air Station Washington, D.C., installed a new portable basketball court in its temporary facility
  • Several playgrounds built at Coast Guard housing complexes
  • Outdoor lighting installed on the athletic courts for the San Diego, Calif., unit

These smaller initiatives are easier to accomplish, and then make a big difference in the health, wellness and morale of Guard members and their families. Not everyone is lucky enough to get stationed in San Diego. Many of the locations of Coast Guard stations are remote with difficult conditions. The projects that the Evergreen Fund and Coast Guard Foundation undertake each year go a long way in ensuring that the active duty members of the Coast Guard are best able to do what they do best -- look out for the American people.

The foundation accepts donations in the form of cash, stocks, corporate matching gifts, estate gifts, tribute and memorial gifts and even boat donations. That's right, if your boat qualifies, you can donate it to be used in training activities, Coast Guard Academy intercollegiate sailing competitions and auxiliary safety patrols. Like all donations, this is fully tax deductible for the fair market value of the boat. The CGF also accepts donations for specific scholarship funds as well as the Evergreen Fund. More information about supporting the Coast Guard Foundation can be found at their Web site,