As we approach the end to our 2016 year, we at IndoJax Surf Charities want to reach out and say thank you to all that attended and/or supported our camps for medically fragile, at risk, and special-needs children.
Our 2016 surf camps reached record levels for attendance. Camps this year included camps for children and their families impacted by autism, childhood cancer, visual impairment, hearing impairment and cystic fibrosis, as well as camps for the Wilmington Boys and Girls Club, Children of Belarus, and Boys and Girls Home of Waccammaw. We were honored to work again with two outstanding organizations— Surfers Healing and Mauli Ola Foundation—as in-water support for their own surf camps.
Also in 2016, IndoJax Surf Charities returned to Half Moon Bay, CA to hold three one-day surf camps for children with autism. These camps were a community effort that included partnerships with Square Peg Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, Half Moon Bay Surf Team (high school and middle school), Junior Life Guards, and the HMB Yacht Club. All contributed to the success of these camps!
An amazing number of volunteers came together to support our efforts to impact these children’s lives this year. To all of you, who are way too many to name individually, a sincere and heartfelt thank you. Without you, we could not do what we do.
To the IndoJax Surf Instructors—you are without question the heart and soul of our camps and the standard by which all instructors should be measured. Although you face incredible challenges in working with such a diverse group of children—with many challenges themselves—you always do so with such joy and kindness. You are to be commended and thanked!
To our individual donors, and corporate and foundation sponsors—please know that we could not operate at the level we do without your generosity and support. All camps are offered free of charge to the participants and families. Our eternal thanks goes out to every individual supporter donating from $5 to $500, corporate sponsors like United Health Care and The Hero Effect, and foundation sponsors like the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation—all of you make these camps possible.
In 2016, we served over 500 children and their families at our camps. Since 2008 when we began offering our camps, attendance has grown by 15 to 20% annually. As an unfortunate downside of such incredible (but wonderful) growth, this year we had to make the difficult decision to limit registration for our autism camp because we could not financially support the large number of families that wanted to attend. But through the generosity of the Jordan Spieth Family Foundation in the nick of time, we were able to accommodate all the families that wanted to attend!
Finally, IndoJax Surf Charities was honored to have been recognized for its work by several organizations and groups. We were featured in the in-flight magazine for American Airlines in December of 2015. We were selected to be one of 10 non-profit organizations to be featured in a 30-minute episode of “The Hero Effect” that began airing on OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) in November. Lastly, IndoJax is being featured in the inaugural edition of the “Citizen” magazine as a Top 5 “Rising Nonprofit to Watch”. Citizen magazine is published by EcoMedia, a subsidiary of CBS.
This year, our charity also reached a new level of Internet awesomeness thanks to TAYLOE/GRAY, who developed and donated this new website—providing camp signups, a new swag shop and other fundraising opportunities …and so much more!
We would also like to give a special shout-out to Jesse Stephenson Photography for capturing such incredible moments at every surf camp (and more!) throughout the year. Our families truly appreciate the sweet high-res shots you provide, and your images help make our website that much better.
In 2017, we plan to continue on our course of impacting the lives of those that we serve through our camps. We also look forward to adding to our camps by working with similar organizations. As an example, we will be holding a 3-day surf camp in Pismo Beach California in 2017 for children with autism. The local organization we’ll be partnering with is AmpSurf, an organization dedicated to working with amputees, most of whom are military veterans.
So in closing, we would like to extend our sincerest thanks and gratitude for your past support and look forward to working together in 2017!
Thank You All!
Happiest of Holidays