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AHC Enables You To Be A Part Of Giving Back

Aloha for Hawaii Charities (AHC) is a unique fundraising opportunity in which charities selected by the Friends Of Hawaii Charities can raise funds through the community’s involvement.

Through AHC, Friends Of Hawaii Charities plans to match a portion of individual donations in an amount to be determined by the Friends of Hawaii Charities.

The Friends Of Hawaii Charities has played a huge role in the transformation of lower Wahiawa and bringing hope to the neighborhood. Specifically, the grants received from FOHC have helped to start and sustain the Ulu Pono after school program. Through this support, dozens of at-risk youth have received tutoring, lessons in art, dance, and music, as well as mentorship and a safe place to enjoy childhood.

The funds received from this Aloha for Hawaii Charities fundraiser will go towards the  cost of maintenance and upkeep of the STN headquarters.

The donation period is now through January 12, 2014, 4:00 PM HST.

To give, visit http://www.friendsofhawaii.org/aloha-hawaii-charities and select ‘ Surfing The Nations’ on their list of charities when prompted.

Thank you for making this holiday season one of Aloha!

Sisters In Seoul Raise Funds For STN!

Nine and Sara Chang are Hawaiian-born sisters that are now living in Seoul, South Korea. On a visit to Hawaii, they were introduced to Surfing The Nations, and they were so inspired that they decided to jump on board with fundraising for STN at Seoul Foreign School. It was such a nice surprise to find out that STN had these girls cheering us on from across the world! Sara took some time to tell her and Nina’s story of how they got involved with STN and how they used their resources to start something at their school.
 
 
”I first heard about Surfing The Nations when my  Uncle took us to a fundraiser dinner at STN’s headquarters in Wahiawa. I was inspired by the variety of people involved  in the STN event and began to think about how I could come alongside them. What inspired me to support STN was my combined interests of  Hawaii, spreading aloha and surfing. Hawaii is mine and and my sister’s birthplace, so it holds a special place our hearts. Now that we live in Korea, helping STN was a way of giving back the aloha, even while we are away from our Hawaiian home. I saw an opportunity to introduce others to the concept of aloha through creating the STN club at our school. This club provided us a gateway to raise awareness for STN. At the STN fundraiser dinner in Hawaii, the ukulele player Bruce Shimabukuro was playing, so I used my own ukulele playing to spread aloha and attract people to our booth at our school’s activities fair. We sold snacks in our homeroom to raise the funds for STN, and ended up raising $318.00 total. I am so inspired by the idea of changing lives through surfing, and the amount STN has accomplished so far to bring change is amazing. I am excited have be a part of this community of Surfers Giving Back!”
 
 

Sara (L) and Nina (R)

New Shirt Campaign Brought To You By Movement 52!

We are stoked to announce that Movement 52 has chosen Surfing The Nations as one of their charities to raise funds and awareness for!

Movement 52 is an organization of that has an amazing vision to raise awareness and funds for one charity a week in an effort to be a  ‘catalyst for generosity’. They aim to take complex problems all over the world, and help find solutions with a simple formula: 1) Identify a need 2) Raise Funds 3) Repeat.

How do they raise funds? This is the part where it gets fun for all of us!

They design a few different shirts for a different company each week, and then sell the shirts, with a percentage of the profits going to that week’s charity.

That means, for one week ONLY, they’ll be selling their shirts with three different designs with our logo, on 8-12 different shirts (and just in time for fall you can buy the first ever STN hoodie through the campaign)!

For every shirt purchased 6-8 dollars will go to fund Surfing The Nations International outreach efforts in countries like Bangladesh, Indonesia, The Philippines and The Middle East!

It’s running for one week, starting Wednesday, October 9th through October 16th. You can purchase the shirts through their website http://movement52.org/

 

 

 

Check out how M52 works here:

 

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In With The New!

Don’t you love it when something that’s already good, gets taken to the next level and made so much better?  That is what has happened at the Surfers Coffee Bar.

Thanks to the generosity of people in Hawaii and all over the world, The Surfers Coffee Bar, already an amazing coffee shop serving quality, fair trade coffee, is now serving drinks using a new grinder, filtration system and top quality LaMarzocco espresso machine.

Stop by and get your chance to test out the new machine! If you’ve already been to SCB, come try out your favorite drink with the new machine. It’s almost like visiting an all new coffee shop, but with all the things you loved about it still perfectly in place. If you’ve donated through the Kickstarter campaign, come and redeem your rewards!

As for my own personal review: this is not only for coffee drinkers! I took a break from my usual cappuccino and I ordered a chai latte. It was so good, that I literally turned around and got another one right after!

(Note to self: order the largest size next time!)

Come by this weekend! Surfers Coffee Bar, 63 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, Oahu.

The new machine! Also known as ‘The Guzlander’, lovingly named after our sponsors Nelson and Norah Guzlander!

Balikbayod- Turning Education Into The Currency of Surf

Surfing is infamous for being chosen by kids over school since anyone can remember (probably since its existence!) And who can blame them? Of course, surfing is more fun than sitting in a classroom hour after hour. But the freedom that is felt  when skipping class to surf, crashes down as the kids go into the ocean of adulthood; when their lack of education hinders their ability to live productive and debt-free lives.

One  non-profit organization, Balikbayod (Returning Wave)  is revolutionizing the way kids approach education and surfing by creating a program that incorporates both. When you break down Balikbayod, bayod is Suriganon (language of the island of Siargao) for ‘wave’ and  balik means ‘to return. Balik both reflects the Filipiono-American founders who return to their island, and  the culture of giving back that they are committed to bring with them.

The concept of bringing opportunities for surfing to the kids of the Philippines came when Balikbayod founder, Lynn, was visiting her native country. She  noticed that nearly everyone enjoying the Philippine’s waves were not local Filipinos, but tourists. Lynn wanted to see the kids enjoy the wealth of their country’s waves. One of the kids asked her to bring them a board when she came back. Knowing that she could not bring a board for just one child, she started to think of ways to make surfing possible for the kids in Siargao.

Through a team of hardworking volunteers, an after-school board borrowing program was put together at the surf break known as ‘Cloud 9’. The dream of seeing the kids of Siargao have access to boards was realized, but there was the age-old problem of the kids choosing to surf over their studies!

The teachers on Siargao island sought out a partnership with Balikbayod, and together they came up with a plan to keep the kids in the water and the classroom.

The kids are not allowed to attend the program unless they are confirmed by the teachers to be attending school and maintaining good grades. If they’ve already dropped out of school, they have the opportunity to use the boards if they continue their schooling through the alternative learning system.  The after-school program instills a culture of sharing and mentorship, as the kids learn to share all of the boards,  make repairs when needed, and the older kids teach the younger ones how to surf. Surfing The Nations has had the chance to see the local groms stoked and thriving through this powerful combination of ambition in and out of the water that Balikbayod promotes.

Balikbayod has found a way to not only integrate education into a surf lifestyle, but make it a primary part of it: They have made education the currency of surfing for the kids on Siargao. This system is changing the mindsets of kids and teaching them how to value their education and take care of each other. It’s teaching them to honor, care for and take ownership of the opportunities given them, whether it’s a homework assignment or a surfboard. Balikbayod’s motto is, “Supporting education first, through the love of surfing.” One can only imagine how much of a positive impact this is going to have on future generations of Filipinos.

While there are team members running the board borrowing program at Cloud 9, there is a whole team facilitating the acquiring and sending of the boards in the Bay Area of California. The community in San Francisco comes alongside Balikbayod, from donating boards, to participating in board repairing parties and fundraising events. If you’re in the San Fran area, make sure to check out their art fundraiser at the I-Hotel, July 28th and August 25th! Check out their website  for more ways to get involved!

 

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Surfers Coffee Bar

Like most people, we love having coffee to start our day off, or to accompany a book, meeting, or chat with a friend.  It’s a simple pleasure in life; a companion to your daily grind. We at Surfing The Nations are fortunate to have the amazing Surfers Coffee Bar right next to us that is completely non-profit and volunteer-run. All of the STN staff has had a chance to volunteer in it and seen the way that The Surfers Coffee Bar has become a haven for many community members and a place where hospitality and kindness is cultivated. Read below to find out more about what the SCB is all about and how you can help them in their kickstarter campaign to continue the good work. 

The most loved photos that are taken on Surfing The Nations international trips are the ones where there is an unexpected clash of worlds: where the little boy in Jordan is skateboarding on Roman ruins, or a camel is strapped down with surfboards in the middle of the desert. Surrounded by different environments, to find something familiar is a rare treasure, and often it is those seemingly small things that end up building friendships.

Surfing The Nations connects with people from all walks of life on the common ground of surfing, and second to that comes sharing a cup of coffee (or tea!) with those we meet. For whatever reason, there’s something that bonds us when sitting down over a warm drink: doors are open, hospitality is extended and strangers become friends.

Surfers Coffee Bar shares a similar vision as Surfing The Nations in using their passions to give back to the community.

The Surfers Coffee Bar wasn’t always in a welcoming area. The strip where the building is now was once home to seedy businesses that caused people to avoid the street altogether. The people behind SCB  had a vision to take a dark, cigarette-stained bar  and make it into a welcoming coffee bar; not only serving up coffee, but providing a place where the community can study, meet, relax, and enjoy the live music on Wednesdays and Fridays. Their motto ‘More Than A Cup Of Coffee’ reflects the fact that they’re a non-profit whose earnings go towards the humanitarian work in Hawaii and internationally through Surfing The Nations. Even the tips are used for the furthering of humanitarian programs! Another way that SCB gives back is that the coffee beans they use in their drinks are all fair-trade and benefitting the local communities that the coffee is coming from.

The Surfers Coffee bar has been all about giving back and for almost two years now.

Now they are asking for you to in turn, give back to keep it going! Right now until July 26th, the Surfers Coffee Bar is running a Kickstarter campaign to purchase a new espresso machine! Things get old and everything needs replacing eventually, and this hard-working machine is seeing its last days. It’s a simple thing to pitch in to help purchase an espresso machine, but it means that the doors of Surfers Coffee Bar will stay open and ready to serve countless people.

Check em out! http://surferscoffee.com/donate/

 

 

You’re Invited!

This time of year is always exciting as we get ready for our bi-annual Ulu Pono kids Art Show!

This Saturday, from 6-10 pm, Surfing The Nations invites you to be a part of this amazing evening. There will be live music, pupus, and artwork from local renowned artists displayed alongside the art of the Ulu Pono kids.

This is a special night for the community as we acknowledge the accomplishments of each child involved in the Ulu Pono kids program and celebrate the creativity that thrives on our island.

To read more about this awesome program, check out our blog on the significance of art in the kid’s lives at http://www.thegrommom.com/the-hawaiian-renaissance-guest-post-from-surfing-the-nations/

Here’s the invitation made for you by the kids themselves! Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Life Outside

In 50 years, do you think you’ll still be surfing?

When you paddle out, the only thing you’re thinking of is that present moment. It’s one of the beauties of surfing- your mind is completely pulled into the here-and-now, no matter how distracted you were before. Most surfers don’t take the time to imagine the future of their home break; the future of their surf community, or the others that will come after them.

Fifty years ago, six boys whose names would one day be well-known, started to surf. They are still surfing even to this day, and now it is their time to look back on a time when they never looked back, and tell their stories through the upcoming film A Life Outside.

A Life Outside is a feature length documentary by Catherine Brabec that tells the story of  Greg Mesanko, Chris Mesanko, Kevin Casey, Jim Purpuri, Richard Luthringer, and Bucky Walters. These six men followed a passion that brought them to pioneer the surf break at Casino Pier in Seaside Heights, New Jersey.

Their story is one of courage; of braving the crowd that spoke against their surfing, and of proving themselves in the highly competitive surf break. It’s about passion and the unreal commitment that has caused them to paddle out time and time again over these past fifty years. It’s about a time where surfing was looked down upon and unpopular, and the relationships that were bonded through that experience.

Being a surfer from the East Coast, I appreciate men like these who have established the surfing lifestyle in their area. They’ve done it by doing something as simple as loving surfing and pursuing it with passion, and as difficult as standing against the ridicule and disapproval of others. It is men like these that we have to thank for bringing the surfing lifestyle to life in places it never had been before. They are leaving a legacy for The Pier, for New Jersey, and the entire East Coast for generations.

This is a film that is still in the works and can only be brought to completion through your help. In this day and age, everyone is able to effortlessly document their lives: Instagram, youtube, etc. Immortalizing something takes literally a few minutes. What we can’t do though, is have easy access to the valuable memories and stories of the past. Here is a unique and worthwhile opportunity to invest in the production of this film, hear and see these stories and immortalize them for future generations. And maybe one day, fifty years from now, you’ll have your own story because of those people before you who at one point, never looked back.

If you want to see this film, make it happen: Donate through Kickstarter now! There’s only 15 days to go!

 

 

Photo courtesy of Catherine Brabec.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STN honored to be one of Duke’s Legacy of Aloha recipients!

 

 

Surfing the Nations was honored with to join Duke’s Restaurant Waikiki as they celebrated their 20th anniversary on January 18th. This day was not just a celebration of a thriving business, but an establishment that has truly upheld and lived out the spirit of Aloha. Duke’s has generously invested in and supported non-profits on the island for six years now through their Legacy of Aloha program. Surfing the Nations was chosen to be one of the recipients of a $2,000 donation along with other nonprofits: Nā Kama Kai, Mālama Maunalua, the Honolulu City and County South Shore Lifeguards, Holomua Nā ʻOhana, and Angel Network. In total, $12,000 was given to further the work of conserving the land and supporting the people of Hawaii.  This is the third year Surfing the Nations has been invited and made Legacy of  Aloha recipients.

We are so grateful to Duke’s for supporting us and dedicating themselves to giving back to the community!

 

photo credit: Honolulu Pulse

 

 

 

 

STN Grows a Mo

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During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces, in the US and around the world. With their Mo’s, these men raise vital awareness and funds for men’s health issues, specifically prostate and testicular cancer initiatives.

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WHY MOVEMBER?

  • 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime
  • Every 2.1 minutes, a man is diagnosed with prostate cancer
  • Every 18.6 minutes, a man dies from prostate cancer
  • In 2012, more than 242,000 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 28,000 men will die from prostate cancer.

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GROW YO’MO!

How can you get involved?

Learn more and sign up at Movember.com
And stay tuned for exciting STN x MOVEMBER give-aways