In an effort to help provide a little taste of Christmas to Destin fishermen in need, the Destin Fishermen’s Foundation needs help from the community.
Last year, the foundation gave out a little more than 200 hams to fishermen and their families, according to Marguerite Parker, treasurer for the non-profit organization.
"The response for donations has been generous at times. However, the foundation’s ability to provide exists solely on the donations. And without donations we can’t do anything," she said.
In the last couple of years, donations to the foundation have been down.
"I don’t know if people don’t know there is a big need or if they themselves are in need," Parker said.
"In this business, it’s kind of feast or famine at different times of the year," said Parker, who is the wife of a fishing captain.
The spring and summer months are the "feast" and then winter the "famine." However, Christmas falls during that famine time of year.
And although fishermen, like everyone else tries to set aside monies for the lean times, sometimes it’s not possible with unexpected medical bills and such.
"Sometimes life just gets in the way," Parker said.
So in order to help out in those hard times, the foundation tries to provide a ham and a Walmart card, if possible, to help buy can goods.
How can you help?
"Cash donations are what we need," said Kay Biggers, who serves as secretary for the foundation.
In return, the foundation will send out statements so folks will be able to write it off come tax time. The cash will go to buy hams or gift cards.
If there is an over abundance in donations, the overflow will go into a benevolent fund.
Although the distribution at Christmas is the foundations biggest event, they try to help out Destin fishermen throughout the year if there is a need.
For example, if a fishermen gets in an accident, the foundation would help pay their bills.
"We try to help as our donations allow us to," Biggers said.
If you’d like to donate, stop by the Destin Fishermen’s Co-op, located behind Broula’s Seafood House and Steamer.
"It’s very moving ... a lot of people count on this every year," Parker said. "I hope we can continue — what we need are donations."