San Diego’s Hope Leadership Academy hosts a yearly event called City2Surf. The organization brings inner-city kids to the beach for a free day of surf lessons, games, and crafts. Without expectations, my husband, two boys, ages sixteen and eighteen, and I signed up to help.
A Great Day
After we first arrived, I joined a group of multi-aged moms setting up the craft tables. We organized the decorations for the kids to create Mother’s Day cards and embellish mini bird houses. The kids could wrap both together in a pretty bag with tissue paper to bless their moms. The van of kids ranging from 8-17 years old pulled into the parking lot and unloaded with hope for an awesome day.
The organizers grouped the kids by age, and each group rotated from surfing, to playing beach games, and decorating the Mother’s Day crafts and lawn games. After my My husband and kids put on their wetsuits, they pushed the kids into waves. Besides the fact that it was windy and cold, I stayed at the craft and games area with some of the ladies hoping we would all connect.
Our Future Hope
The kid’s personalities shined as they worked on their Mother’s Days card designs. Some were naturally creative artists and others were expressive with their written messages, sometimes in Spanish. The extroverted kids chatted and joked as they worked, revealing their dreams and interests. One shy girl mentioned her love for birds as she drew a beautiful parakeet on her card. A slice of all personality types was here.
The next thing I knew, I was doing cartwheels on the lawn with two elementary-aged girls, all of us laughing. We then played a bean bag toss game, and I lacked serious hand-eye coordination–jokes were on me! This day was for everyone to have fun and discover new things.
If one theme endures as I’ve volunteered alongside other moms throughout the years, it’s that I love being around selfless moms who care. This day was no different, and I was so thankful to chat and listen to these wise women. With golden hearts they love on their kids and the kids in their community. If it wasn’t for this event, I might never meet such inspiring people.
Do This Again
My husband and boys came back from the beach, salty and wet with big smiles on their faces. Although they spent three hours of hard work teaching the kids, they looked stoked. My sons came over to me and one said with excitement, “That was so fun. I hope we can do this again!” The other said, “This is the coolest thing ever. It’s so fun teaching these kids who’ve never been surfing and barely go to the beach…they’re so awesome!”
Hope For Involvement
With 2020’s limited gathering opportunities, this event illuminated how important community service is. Not only did we help give these kids a new and fun experience, all of the volunteers also felt the joy of giving. When a well rounded demographic gets together to support each other, there is an amazing connection from everyone involved. I’m so thankful for the organizations that set up these opportunities, and I know everyone’s life is better for it. Serving our local communities shines a light of hope for a brighter future.