Many people in my family are surfers; I used to wake up with my cousins just before dawn during summers in Stone Harbor, New Jersey when we were young to check out the waves. Whether they were great or not, we would jump right in, surfboards in hand, ready for whatever big or small sets that day was going to bring.
Between living in the city and working a full time job, it’s tough nowadays to find the time to surf consistently; this is where Surfer Magazine comes in for me. I read this publication religiously, living vicariously through the surfers featured and the video clips of amazing waves breaking on beaches around the world.
Thanks to a Surfer article published this past March, I was introduced to ReSurf: an awesome organization that connects with underprivileged children through surfing. ReSurf collects used surfboards and donates them to public schools and local community centers. Once the boards are in place, ReSurf ambassadors will come in and teach the kids at the school or program to surf, and will also set up a surf club the entire community can enjoy.
I have had the privilege of getting involved with ReSurf throughout the past couple months and am helping the organization promote its upcoming surf competition and festival called Stoked With A Purpose. This event will be held in Long Beach, NY on August 31st and is sure to be a great time.
ReSurf founder Oran Bendelstein was nice enough to answer a couple of interview questions I came up with, centering around his vision and goals for the nonprofit and this summer’s Long Beach surf competition.
Why did you start ReSurf?
I’ve always loved helping people and being involved with community; ReSurf is a way for me to give back in a new and fun way. I love seeing the look in the eyes of our participants, watching them change and smile and from something so simple…. surfing.
If you had to describe ReSurf in just one sentence, what would it be?
ReSurf is changing the world one surfer a time, bringing happiness and a future to underprivileged children through Surfing.
What has your biggest success been? Likewise, what would you say ReSurf’s biggest challenge has been so far?
I would have to say our biggest success was our trip to the Middle East. It was an amazing learning experience for all of us and I would have to say it changed my life; it showed me the reality of how great ReSurf really is and the potential of what’s to come. Our biggest challenge is raising money. Someone has to do it, but at the same time it’s a great way to get more people involved building the ReSurf community.
What would you ideally like to see ReSurf accomplish in the next couple years?
In 2014-2015 ReSurf is aiming to build a ReSurf resource center in the Far Rockaway, NY which will be a communal center for all the city schools. ReSurf has plans to build 4 resource centers in California and will be going to Jamaica to build a resource center and a store that will serve the community, create jobs and opportunity for their future.
What are your hopes for the upcoming surf competition/festival on the beach this August in Long Beach?
The Stoked With A Purpose Surf Competition and Festival on Labor Day in Long Beach is a fundraising event that will hopefully create awareness and raise ReSurf enough money for us to execute our efforts for the 2014–2015 year.
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Check out ReSurf’s sponsorship opportunities for the Stoked With A Purpose event if you or your company is interested in participating! Also, be sure to connect with ReSurf on Facebook and Twitter to follow all of the good work they’re doing.