Thank You Cards and Letters of Support
Thank You card
Letter from a parent
Letter from Bradley Watanabe, Ke Kama Pono Safe House, Program Case Manager
2012 Youth Self Reported Impact Overview
Letter from a parent
Dear Surfrider Spirit Sessions Supporter:
My son, [name withheld] was a participant in the Surfrider Spirit Sessions in the summer and fall of 2011, and was paired with a wonderful mentor, Evan Fujioka. Although we struggled every Saturday to get [name withheld] out of bed and to Waikiki Beach to be with Uncle Sam, Evan and his peers, he always came home with a smile and a sense of accomplishment that he did something productive for the day.
My son, a reserved, sensitive but very intelligent [age withheld], struggled with mental health issues (depression) and he eventually became involved with the Family Court system in February of 2011. When the opportunity for him to participate with Surfrider Spirit Sessions came up through his probation officer, [name withheld], I was ecstatic about the idea. Since we moved to Hawaii from Oregon in 2007, [name withheld] struggled to regain a sense of “belongingness” and to replace the close relationships he was forced to leave behind.
At the time, I did not realize the devastating psychological effects our move (and the many changes that came with it) had on my son, but did know that the mentors involved in Surfrider Spirit Sessions truly cared about the children they worked with. The gentle guidance of Evan’s heart toward [name withheld] taught my son how to surf; but more importantly how to hear the sound of his own laughter again. For a few hours every Saturday, Evan and [name withheld] shared the rapture of being alive in the ocean together.
The Spirit Session philosophy, “We teach our kids that life is like surfing, waves come and go” is a metaphor that teached our children joy, courage and fearlessness to accept life’s peaceful and turbulent moments “to simply be IN the world, IN yourself, feeding your spirit and honoring the space you occupy on this earth.”
Everyone faces struggles – some more than others and in [name withheld] young life – beneath the quiet veneer, he was drowning in an ocean of sadness. I can describe what the Surfrider Spirit Sessions has meant to me and what I think it meant to [name withheld]: UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE to be in the humanity of ourselves and with each other.
I humbly ask for your support of the Surfrider Spirit Sessions program because what truly heals people is unconditional love. For many of the children who are served in this program, their lives become more bearable because they are given love, and the opportunity for growth and development through the valuable lessons of learning how to surf.
Very truly yours,
Ke Kama Pono Safe House
Program Case Manager
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