On August 11th, kids from our Therapeutic Childcare Program had an awesome day with Windansea Surf Club, treating our kids to burgers, a surfing adventure and lots of kindness. Learn more about the 30-year history behind this event.
WindanSea Surf Club in La Jolla has a long history of giving back. The Surf Club’s annual event, Day at the Beach, is a 33-year tradition that has included Father Joe’s Villages from the beginning. Since inviting Father Joe’s Villages to be the Surf Club’s first beneficiary, WindanSea has returned year after year. They offer a day of sand, sun and fun to kids living with the realities of homelessness.
On August 11, 27 children from Father Joe’s Villages arrived at Day at the Beach to the cheering of volunteers. Surfboards lined a pathway leading them to the beach, and they were treated to breakfast and an opening ceremony to generate excitement for the events to come. Finally, they paired up with a surfing buddy who taught them how to ride the waves. By the end of the day, most of them were able to stand up on their surfboards.
WindanSea Surf Club President, Bill Fitzmaurice, hopes Day at the Beach shows the junior surfers a different side of life. He hopes it helps them forget the difficulties of homelessness— at least for the day.
“You can measure the event’s success by the smiles on the kids,” Fitzmaurice said. “The whole day is dedicated to letting kids be kids. And these kids don’t have the opportunity to be kids, like most kids do.”
As Father Joe’s Villages Therapeutic Childcare Program Manager, Jennifer Ryan, puts it:
“Events like these remind our kids that they are important to the world and that people do care about them and do ‘see’ them. They aren’t forgotten.”
After a full day of surfing, new friends and good food, the kids received awards, applause and a goodie bag during the closing ceremony. Cleverly disguised as a thrilling day of fun and frolic, the event’s true purpose is to offer children living at Father Joe’s Villages the opportunity to overcome their fears and gain confidence in their ability to learn a new skill. Windansea designs every minute of Day at the Beach to encourage and inspire confidence in the children.
WindanSea Surf Club’s yearly efforts not only share the magic of surfing. They also to leave a lasting impression of kindness on the lives of clients and staff of Father Joe’s Villages.