NORFOLK, Va. — Sunday was your last chance to head over to this year’s Harborfest in Norfolk. Over the last few days , Town Point Park was filled with tall ships, live music, mermaids and nonprofits that benefited from guests having a good time.
Among the many vendors at the largest maritime festival on land and sea were a handful of nonprofits.
In exchange for their time volunteering, groups are donated some of the proceeds. Doris Cobb says the funding for communities in schools of Hampton Roads supports their mission to keep kids in school by addressing mental health and helping kids who have a difficult home life.
“Some kids are homeless, we do have kids that have some issues that they have to deal with. There’s trauma within their lives. When you have a place a child can come and talk to a site director where there is no judgment, then you’re allowing a child to open up and tell us more about what is actually going on, and this is a way for us to help that child,” says Cobb.
The non-profit has been working with students, teachers, principals, and counselors for more than 10 years. In 2022, they served more than 1,100 students in 25 Hampton Roads schools.
Currently the group is present in six of the seven cities, excluding Newport News. Cobb says they hope to change that with the help of donations from Harborfest.
“That money will allow us to get site directors to work at these schools and get us supplies for the children that is needed such as writing supplies, book bags, tablets or papers,” says Cobb.
Another nonprofit called the Don Carey REECH Foundation keeps kids staying active and interested in STEM programs during the summer.
Chesapeake city council member Don Carey says the nonprofit stands for reaching educating empowering children.
“We focus on using sports to educate students about STEM jobs. This area has a robust amount of STEM careers but most of the time our students don’t know about them, so these partnerships help us to get our word out and our mission accomplished and educate our students,” says Carey
Nonprofits call Harborfest a win-win for everyone. From the guests enjoying the summer day — to the students who will get the support needed to excel.