Aqua East Surf Shop does more than get you on the board of your dreams during the holiday season. For the last 20 years, Aqua East has partnered with Beaches Habitat for Humanity to make the lives of families a little bit brighter.

“Beaches Habitat is such a great charity and was something really close to our Dad’s heart,” said Andrea Forsyth, Aqua East co-owner. “It makes us proud to stick to it in memory of him, knowing that he was so proud to be a part of it.”

The Forsyth family has owned Aq­ua East since it opened in 1973. George Forsyth III began helping Beaches Habitat for Humanity and the family has continued his legacy, building 19 homes over the past 20 years for low-income families.

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The charity work done by Aqua East is truly a family-driven and family-focused project in the community.

“The special thing about Beaches Habitat is that they do require the families to put in a certain amount of time into building the house,” Forsyth said.

The Beaches Habitat mission is not simply to give people homes but to give them hope — something that the Forsyth family admires.

“We always go to the ceremony when the house is done being built and the family is always a great host. It’s great to see them excited about something they helped build and they’re proud of,” Shauna Forsyth Moore said, fellow co-owner and sister of Andrea Forsyth.

But Aqua East does not stop at just helping to build the homes. For the last 11 years during the holiday season, the company matches donations up to $25,000 to pay for the mortgages of families involved with Beaches Habitat. This provides these families an opportunity to enjoy the holidays without worrying about a large financial burden.

In addition, Aqua East provides financial assistance to local elementary schools and Take Stock, a college scholarship program. If you would like to donate to Beaches Habitat, stop into Aqua East and drop your contribution to the donation house at the register.