What An Incredible Year
It has been an incredible year and not to sound trite, but we at SSS have a TON to be grateful for! We started out the year as a new independent 501c3, in a bad economy, non-profits struggling everywhere and our fiscal sponsor shutting down. Seriously, we thought we would die in June. Although we should’ve planned for a simple retreat but we’re lunatics…we just couldn’t let go.
All we could think of was the kids. The stoke. And all the people who wanted to see Spirit Sessions live. So with a few bucks in our pockets and nothing more than passion and a unwavering spirit we committed ourselves to doing whatever we could to help kids and our community.
What Inspiring Support!
“Committed” being the word. By all rational accounts we should have been “committed” because what we were doing seemed insane. Taking delinquent teens surfing? And who would have thought EVERY judge in the Hawaii Family Court System would support us AND come down to the beach? It happened.
Yes, taking “delinquent” kids surfing to change their lives sounds crazy, but not if you understand the power of “the Stoke”. Joy, positive social interaction and connection to the environment are energizers. They feed the spirit and turn kids onto to a positive high. And yep, they think we’re crazy….crazy cool. And they want to be with us, like us and around us.
Honestly, not every judge thought what we were doing made sense. But they came. And some even learned to surf with us. How cool do you think they think that judge and probation officer is now? The one who wiped out and popped up smiling then paddled out to get help from one of the kids? Teens want to be lead “on their own terms”, and if they like you,if they can relate to, you they’ll hear you. And when kids care about something, they are energy in spades. They love the ocean, surfed with turtles and hustled like crazy to keep the beaches clean to protect the place they came to love.
Parents, Judges and Probation officers witnessed “delinquents” picking up OTHER peoples cigarette butts and teaching tourists about how the butts harm turtles and other ocean life.
And now the judges and probation officers are all believers. We’re grateful they came, and experienced the power of the Stoke for themselves. And our community continues to grow.
Gratitude For Your Donations
We thought we were walking the plank to our financial “death” in June. Then suddenly a groundswell of support came in… banks, corporations, charitable foundations, private donors, volunteers all stepped up to support our kids and be part of a positive community.
Our mentors chipped in and sent out emails to all their friends and family who made donations in their honor. And now we have supporters from all over, including actress Kelly Hu, Hawaii State Senators and the entire Naguwa Family.
I could go on and on, naming each individual, but I think this blog is long enough! I’ll save it for another time…because YES we are still here and we will be for some time!
Needless to say, we have a lot to be thankful for and many people and organizations to thank. Above all, I am most grateful for all those willing and able to be “crazy” enough to support our radical program. They know that real crazy is repeating the same behavior and expecting different results. They know that simply punishing kids, throwing them in jail and expecting them to come out with a positive outlook and better life skills simply doesn’t work.
And lucky for all of us insane surf mentors who can simply do we love AND help our kids and community. It’s a crazy kind of win win win….
Yes, we are most THANKFUL!!!