Hilton Head Island
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August 6, 2021
Beach chairs, boogie boards, umbrellas and other beach gear will get a second chance to be useful through a new service on Hilton Head Island. Finnegan’s Sharing Shack is designed to reduce waste and promote sustainability by recycling beach gear — free of charge — for visitors and locals.
Founded by University of South Carolina Beaufort senior Bethany McDonald, Finnegan's Sharing Shack launched July 31 at Driessen Beach Park. Under a white tent at the park’s entrance, McDonald and Haven Banks, also a USCB student, welcome beachgoers and encourage them to take anything they need from a colorful array of toys, tents, towels, chaise lounges and more. The inventory at Finnegan's Sharing Shack is salvaged from the beach and collected from local resorts, sanitized and then offered to new owners.
"Many visitors, especially those who fly, don’t want to take their beach gear home with them," McDonald said. "Often it's still in great condition and can be used by others."
Finnegan's Sharing Shack is a collaboration between USCB and The Town of Hilton Head Island and is sponsored by the University's Center for Event Management and Hospitality Training. Keri Olivetti is the Center's director and Finnegan, a sand shark, is USCB's mascot.
The town's beach rules ban items left on the beach from sunset to sunrise, in part because personal property left by beachgoers can trap and deter loggerhead sea turtles coming to the beach to lay nests. Every night, town staff and volunteers collect items left behind.
"Preventing a cluttered beach means a safer home for our wildlife and a better experience for our guests," McDonald said.
Look for Finnegan’s Sharing Shack at Driessen Beach Park Friday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm through the end of September. McDonald hopes to expand to additional locations next summer.
For more information about Finnegan's Sharing Shack or to donate items, contact Bethany McDonald at email@example.com or 304-546-9246.
Photo Courtesy of USCB
Carolyn Grant, Communications Director
Carol Weir, Senior Director of Communications, Univeristy of South Carolina Beaufort
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