Bayfront Center YMCA youth sailing students sail across Charlotte Harbor during a summer program.

Do you have old boating equipment that is cluttering your garage or yard?

If you do, Bill Schardt would like to help you.

Schardt is a member of Learn to Sail Southwest Florida, an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization in Punta Gorda.

Volunteers are currently seeking donations of boating related items as well as entire boats, motors and safety equipment.

“We will be happy to come and get all the unused items in your garage or lanai,” Schardt said. “This will be a win-win situation. Learn to Sail will benefit by your generosity and you will be decluttering your space.”

The club is located in the Bayfront building at 750 W Retta Esplanade, next to Gilchrist Park.

“Throughout the year we teach children and adults the wonderful world of sailing,” Schardt said. “Our summer program has introduced hundreds of local children to the liberating sport.”

The organization has been serving Charlotte Harbor since 2015. There are currently 35 volunteer members.

“This was a slow summer due to COVID-19,” Schardt said. “We enrolled about 100 children, between the ages of 8 and 15. Normally our number of students is about 150 for the summer sessions. We provide need based scholarships for those families that qualify. During the rest of the year we hold seminars, open sail days, adult classes and private lessons as requested.

"Our instructors are U.S. Sailing Certified and all volunteers must complete a Safe Sport course and a background check. We always need active volunteers for boat launching and retrieving, fundraising and general help. We also need cash donations. Our fleet consists of 18 daysailers, 2 windsurfers and a couple of kayaks as well as two outboard powered safety boats. Donations are, possibly, tax deductible, due to our 501c3 non profit status. Several of our volunteers hold U.S. Coast Guard Captains licenses.”

Call Bill at Learn to Sail at 443-852-0105 to arrange a time for pickup or dropoff.

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