Support your local SAR


Well-known member
Aug 30, 2018
Western CO
As someone who volunteers on our local SAR team and spends probably as much time selling T-shirts and talking to the public about how we are funded as I do in the field on rescues I thought it could be useful to the community here to know about some of the ways you can support your local SAR team without having to drop hard-earned cash...

first off, hunters seem to be incredibly good at avoiding getting in situations where SAR is called out, there is a lot of self-reliance baked into the hunting community as well as in general better outdoor skills than the casual outdoor enthusiast. We deal with very few hunting-related callouts so it's not really something we spend a ton of time planning for, however, I think this also creates a situation where SAR also doesn't do much outreach with the hunting community and misses a tremendous resource...

I'm definitely generalizing, but most SAR teams in the US are volunteer-based, typically operating under the local sheriff's office, they are also generally self-funded or receive a very limited stipend for operational funding, therefore a significant percentage of the volunteer's time is actually spent fundraising to offset operational expenses. there are a few things everyone can do to help out, it's an easy thing to do and your team will thank you that they can concentrate on the work and less on soliciting donations...

1. Many SAR teams are signed up on Amazon smile, if you are buying it from Amazon anyway consider going through smile to give a percentage to the team of your choice.

2. Check if your local grocery store has a community rewards program, Kroger, City Market, and King Supers offer the chance to link your shopper's card to a nonprofit, if your local SAR team is not participating it is worth asking them to look into it or pick a team where you hunt? a little goes a long way with these funds, we notice every single household that signs up.

3. if you are in CO and don't hold a hunting or fishing license consider purchasing a COSAR card, it's $5 annually and if you have one and need a rescue SAR can be reimbursed for expenses from the state SAR fund, if you do not have a COSAR card or hunting/fishing license we likely have to eat the cost associated with the rescue. I'm less familiar with how other states operate on this but it is worth checking before you go.

4. Follow your local SAR team mailing list or social media to keep up with fundraising opportunities, for example, the American alpine club and rocky talkies are currently giving out $25K to several SAR teams based on a community vote for the rescue that best displayed great teamwork, I won't link as that might be too close to advertising but google should get you there, if your team is one of the finalists you have a chance to help them out in a big way just by voting. (full disclaimer, I was involved with one of the rescues in the 4 finalists, if your team isn't there I'd love the votes)

5. Buy the t-shirt, hat, whatever your team is selling, yeah, it's not free but I can guarantee that your dollar goes a long, long way toward helping people on their worst day...

6. Get involved, there's not a better way to give back and meet great people, as well as most of our crowd has the skills that are in demand.

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