The 30A Way: Giving Back

Every day, The 30A Company works hard to promote our laid-back beach lifestyle and to help support and promote Gulf Coast businesses. But we’re also very passionate about giving back to our local and global community. Here are a few of the ongoing projects we’re very proud to be involved with:

The Sonder Project

Ashley Hamm, Co-Founder of The Sonder Project
Ashley Hamm, Co-Founder of The Sonder Project

360 Blue, YOLO Board and The 30A Company are founding partners of The Sonder Project, a non-profit organization that supports high-impact, sustainable projects aimed at ending extreme poverty and hunger, locally, domestically and abroad.

What does “Sonder” mean? Sonder is the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own — each with a story to tell and each with a story worth hearing.

One of our endeavors is Project: feed, a program that helps vacation rental companies across the country to collect and redistribute the nonperishable food items routinely left behind by departing guests. We then work with a network of nationwide volunteers to redistribute the otherwise discarded food to local charities and food banks in each community.

Over 100 vacation rental management companies have joined the program, and the hope is that with minimal effort, Project: feed can help the vacation rental industry come together to make a real impact in the fight against hunger.

Last year, our Sonder team completed construction of a new school in the village of Bagyambin, Burkina Faso, in Africa. The new school will make education possible for 77 students in the village, which is a huge milestone in a country where 78 percent of the population is illiterate.

Our team also completed construction of a water well in the village of Nabadogogo, Burkina Faso. Prior to the completion of this project, the 3,500 people living in this village had to spend hours and walk miles to retrieve filthy water needed for survival. With a water well now in their community, they can enjoy clean water near their homes and use their most valuable resource — time — in more productive ways.

To learn more about The Sonder Project, or to find out how you can get involved, please visit thesonderproject.org.

30A Sticker Donation Box Partnership with Alaqua Animal Refuge

Laurie Hood, Founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge
Laurie Hood, Founder of Alaqua Animal Refuge

So far, we’ve given away over 1,400,000 of our famous round blue 30A stickers. Although we give them away for free in local businesses, donation boxes have been set up in many locations to encourage contributions to Alaqua Animal Refuge, our local no-kill animal shelter.

Alaqua Animal Refuge is located on 10 gorgeous acres of farmland in Freeport, just north of Santa Rosa Beach. As many as 100 animals are adopted every month at Alaqua, and the refuge is home to as many as 250 animals at any given time. It costs about $90,000 a month to run Alaqua, which is dependent on private donations, and the center is looking to expand in the coming months to keep up with demand.

Our 30A Sticker Donation Box partnership has raised over $200,000 for this special local charity.

Any local business that would like to have an Alaqua Animal Refuge 30A Sticker donation box can call Alaqua at 850-880-6399.

30A Charity Golf Classic

charity-golf-classic-sophieCreated by The 30A Company’s co-founder Angela Ragsdale, the 30A Charity Golf Classic has raised $150,000 for charities to date. Proudly sponsored by The Aesthetic Clinique and many other local businesses, 100 percent of all proceeds from this annual event go straight to help local charities in need.

In its first year, $23,000 was given to Off The Mat and Shelter House Domestic Violence Center. In 2014, $27,000 was raised for Alaqua Animal Refuge. In 2015, $23,000 was raised for Food for Thought. In 2016, the tournament raised $53,000 for Children’s Volunteer Health Network, with the help of an incredible matching private matching donation. The 2017 30A Charity Golf Classic raised over $20,000 for Special Olympics of Walton County.

30A 10K & Fun Run Partnership

Every Thanksgiving morning, thousands of runners gather in Rosemary Beach for the 30A 10K & 1-Mile Fun Run. The annual race — organized by Karen Meadows, Craig Baranowski and Amy Stoyles — benefits different local charities each year with a focus on families and children.

In 2016, the race raised a record-breaking total of $50,000 for their charity partners with the help of a sold-out crowd of more than 2,000 participants. The 2016 charity partners included Anchorage Children’s Home, the Northwest Florida Guardian ad Litem Foundation, the South Walton Fire District and the Walton County Sheriff’s Department’s Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

To date, the 30A 10K has raised over $200,000, and The 30A Company is a proud sponsor of this holiday tradition. For more information, visit 30a10k.com. Applications for next year’s charity partners will begin in April so stay tuned to the website and social media.

Thanks everyone who joined us at the 2016 30A 10K and thanks to Modus Photography for capturing this event on video!
>>Keep Running<<
#30a10k #modusphoto #thanksgiving #southwalton #30a #sowal

Posted by 30A 10K on Sunday, December 11, 2016

In addition to these initiatives, The 30A Company frequently donates product, promotion, time and resources to many other wonderful local organizations and events, including South Walton Fire District, Choctawhatchee Basin Alliance, Food for Thought, Seaside Neighborhood School, Cultural Arts Alliance, The Repertory Theatre, Children’s Volunteer Health Network, Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and many more.

Get involved! To learn all about South Walton’s many wonderful local charities, please visit 30Acharities.com.

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30A Cottages chooses beach houses for their comfort, amenities and style, and each home offers a unique beach experience. We look forward to talking with you about your perfect beach vacation and how we can simplify every step of your planning. Stay on 30A, and forget where you’re from. 30Acottages.com

-2016 30A.com Hot Spot Award winner for “Best Rental Company On 30A.”