As the United States’ maritime guardian, the U.S. Coast Guard stands as an impressive force dedicated to protecting our shores, enforcing maritime laws, and responding to emergencies at sea.

First and foremost, the Coast Guard ensures the safety and prosperity of the nation through its many missions, including search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and drug interdiction. They are the first responders during natural disasters, facilitators of maritime trade and commerce, and protectors of the marine environment.

The Coast Guard is a force for international cooperation and goodwill. It fosters partnerships with maritime nations, promoting stability, security, and cooperation in some of the world’s most strategically significant regions through joint exercises, training programs, and humanitarian relief.

Behind the scenes of the Coast Guard’s essential missions lies a vital support system—the Coast Guard Foundation. So, what exactly is the Coast Guard Foundation, and why is it important to the U.S. Coast Guard?

The Coast Guard Foundation acts as a strategic partner to the Coast Guard, providing crucial support to ensure the service’s effectiveness and readiness, according to its president, Susan Ludwig. “For more than 50 years, our nonprofit has tackled the toughest challenges confronting Coast Guard service members,” said Ludwig. “We strengthen the Coast Guard community by being there for members and their families where and when they need it the most.”

At the heart of the Coast Guard Foundation’s mission is its commitment to supporting Coast Guard members and their families during times of need. Whether it’s helping a Coast Guard family recover from a natural disaster, providing support to members and families struck by tragedy, or offering scholarships and grants for the children and spouses of Coast Guard members, the Foundation’s direct impact on the lives of those it serves is significant.

The Coast Guard Foundation ensures that the Coast Guard remains Semper Paratus—Always Ready—to fulfill its mission. Ludwig also explained they could not do their work without the dedicated Foundation community. “By supporting the Coast Guard Foundation, everyday Americans honor the Coast Guard, express gratitude for the sacrifices made by these heroes, and ensure that they have the resources needed to fulfill their mission effectively,” said Ludwig.