Surfing The Nations has an amazing program called the Ulu Pono Kids program. Ulu Pono means ”To thrive on a righteous path’”. Ulu Pono’s goal is to help the youth of the area find that better path. Through the generosity of Friends of Hawaii Charities, Ulu Pono is able to offer a free after-school program during the school year called ‘Thriving Arts.’ It is through ‘Thriving Arts’ that at-risk youth are given lessons in art, dance, and music. This year, they’ve been studying ukulele and art following the theme of Imagination. Ulu Pono also offers a once a week reading intensive program called ”Genius Factory” where the kids have a reading buddy who helps them build upon their reading skills and other areas of academics. Not only do the kids have a chance to learn, but a chance to develop personally. I have had the privilege of witnessing transformation in these kids. Some of these kids are in very challenging and even harmful environments. I’ve seen children who don’t even have the confidence to speak a single word become bright chatter boxes, I’ve seen children who were known for their unruly behavior become leaders, I’ve seen these kids blossom when given love, instruction and a chance to thrive in their own creativity.
Giving alternatives to destructive lifestyles, holding out good choices to combat the devastating choices is a fundamental principle in effective activism: Don’t simply tear down, but build up. Don’t simply pit yourself against something; let your cause be to change, to transform, to restore.
On November 17th, we will be celebrating the accomplishments of the Ulu Pono kids as they showcase their art accompanied with ukulele performances. If you are in Hawaii, this is a night you do not want to miss. Local well known artists such as Patrick Parker, Clark Takashima ,Nick Welles and Clark Little will be displaying their work alongside the children’s. The night will include free admission, food, a great gallery to browse, vendors, live music and more. Most importantly, it will be a night in which the community gathers to empower the future artists of the island. Come enjoy the evening, get inspired and help cheer on and build up our youth.
I love when you stumble upon amazing things while doing something ordinary like watching a music video. The first time this happened to me, a country music video led me to discover an 80 room tree house in Tennessee! This time, while looking for this week’s weekend jam, I not only found a great song, but discovered one of the most unique things I’ve come across: The Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club. This equestrian club in Philadelphia aims to prevent crime through the alternative activity of riding and taking care of horses. It’s amazing to see these children and adults riding through the middle of the city, and to see such a unique way to help them choose a better lifestyle.
Enjoy this song by UK artists Rudimental ft. John Newman and the amazing story behind the video.
Photo credit Fletcher Street Urban Riding Club, from
Would you run and marathon or half marathon for something you believed in? A group of high schoolers and one adult from High Desert, California literally went ‘the extra mile’ (or 12 or 26 !) and ran either a half or full marathon to raise awareness and funds for STN. We are impressed, inspired, and humbled to have such amazing people investing their time and talent to supporting the cause of STN. Continue Reading
I hope that you enjoyed Josh Garrel’s free album last Friday. If you have not, his newest album Love & War: B-sides and Remixes is available online and you can read up on it in our recent post.
Amazingly enough, Josh Garrels has written, recorded and produced all of his albums, including Love & War & The Sea In Between, from home, outside of the “ideal” studio-space. And with the next full-length album on the horizon, Garrels has chosen the route of building an adequate studio – a space that would cater to his recording needs and be used to create limitless albums for many other musicians. Continue Reading
Tomorrow is the much anticipated release of the documentary ‘Blood Brother.’ It tells the story of 30 year old Rocky Braat and his choice to spend his life with children in an AIDS orphanage in India.
The trailer for ‘Blood Brother’ is only two minutes and nineteen seconds of your life. Yet the story it opens your eyes to has been woven over years. It has broken through from pain, tears, joy, rejection, choices, freedom, hope, family and love. I haven’t even seen the documentary yet, but the trailer itself was enough to cause me to examine my life and desire to give the most I possibly can for others. Continue Reading
Happy Aloha Friday!
We are amazed at how businesses and individuals are coming alongside charities to help further the life-changing programs they offer.
Chase is one of those incredibly generous businesses and they are choosing charities that will share $2.5 million in grants. We would love to be one of the recipients that can use those resources to further humanitarian work in the community and worldwide. Continue Reading
On September 1st, people all over the US and beyond gathered to participate in ‘Paddle for Daisy’. Surfers from all over came to show their support and help raise the funds needed by the Merrick family to continue Daisy’s treatment as she fights cancer for the third time in her young life.
We believe this act fully embodies ‘surfers giving back.’ Continue Reading
If you are a Hawaii resident and you shop at Foodland, the Give Aloha gift matching program is an easy way to contribute to the work of Surfing the Nations.
At the checkout, you may pick the Hawaii non-profit charity of your choice to make a donation of up to $249, and Foodland will match that donation.*
Simple! Just let them know you are donating to Surfing the Nations, ID number 78555.
For more details visit:
Thank you for helping us bring positive change and hope to communities here and across the globe!
*PLEASE NOTE: Whoops! We weren’t completely accurate in our information on the give aloha program.
Foodland does NOT match donations dollar for dollar. Instead, this is how it works: (from the give aloha website):
At age 8 after 6 surgeries, 22 rounds of chemotherapy and 2 courses of radiation, Daisy Love Merrick is facing cancer for the 3rd time and is in a battle for her life. The next steps of Daisy’s treatment include, chemotherapy and stem cell transplant with progressive treatments in America and Israel. The estimated cost not covered by insurance will total close to half a million dollars.
In June, Al Merrick met with Dean Plumlee, the national director of Christian Surfers US, who suggested a paddle-a-thon to raise money for Daisy’s medical treatments. This event hopes to provide both emotional and financial assistance to Daisy and her family. Essentially, the paddle-a-thon asks groups to paddle a pre-set distance to raise money and awareness.
On Sept 1, 2012 at 9 am surfers everywhere will come together to support Daisy Love Merrick as she battles cancer. The goal is to raise funds and encourage Al Merrrick, his granddaughter Daisy and the whole family by hosting paddle-outs in over 33 locations around the world Continue Reading