On Saturday, October 28, I had the opportunity to volunteer with a super cool organization called Surfers For Autism. This is a non-for-profit organization that allows children with autism the chance to surf and paddleboard. Much like the idea of Equine Therapy, surfing has proven to have similar therapeutic benefits to allow special needs children to break down barriers and have the time of their lives.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I signed up to volunteer. I only knew that I love kids, teaching, and surfing, so this was right up my alley. The event took place at Fort Myers Beach and lasted all day despite a rainy afternoon. Each child was matched with team leader (this was me) as well as a few helpers. They received 20-minutes of surfing and then got back in line to be paired up in the next session again. The sessions ran all day only breaking for lunch.
The kids were amazing. They didn’t care that their weren’t chest high or over head waves, the only thing that mattered was that they were given the chance to be brave and experience something amazing, being out in the ocean. We pushed many into small waves, and when there weren’t any, my team improvised by lining up towards shore and pushing them to the next person until they reached the beach to give them a similar sensation to surfing. The kids swam, they sat on the boards, and some of the really brave ones stood up like it was nothing.
I was so proud of the kids I was able to work with. It was an awesome time at the beach and I wouldn’t have wanted to invest my time into anything else that day. Thank you Surfers For Autism for putting on such a great event and allowing me to be a part of it! If you’d like more information about Surfers For Autism please visit their website at http://www.surfersforautism.org/