All surfers have at least one thing in common – stoke. When is comes to spreading the joy of surfing, ReSurf is no stranger. The nonprofit has been dedicated to providing both the supplies surfing entails, as well as countless ReSurf ambassadors willing to put in the time. We caught up with ReSurf Founder, Oran Bendelstein, on details about the incredible nonprofit he started, that has already touched the lives of hundreds of underprivileged youth across the globe.
How can surfers get involved to help give back?
Anyone can be an ambassador for ReSurf. There are many call to actions. You can donate a surfboard, donate a camera, create an initiative at your work or school and help create awareness and funds to sustain our programs. Every effort counts and goes a long way!
What are you most excited to see happen with ReSurf in 2016?
This coming year is a breakout year for ReSurf. We are planning on taking the organization to the next level. Creating teen initiatives in schools all over the US. ReSurf is planning on kicking off projects in Hawaii with Sunny Garcia, Jamaica with Billy Wilmot and the JSA, two new programs in New York (one in Far Rockaway with the Rockaway water front alliance and the other in Long Beach NY with the Martin Luther King community center), we are kicking three new programs off in the Middle East and lastly a program in San Diego. We are truly stoked with a purpose!
How is ReSurf different from other non-profits?
What’s really unique about ReSurf is the full circle of giving that we created. Everyone has such an impact and everyone gets so much out of it. For example: Our ambassadors start off all on the giving side helping in every way they can, either donating money, surfboards, cameras, computers or fixing them. After they join us on a ReSurf mission, their connection to the surfing community, the community they helped, and outlook on social responsibilities totally changes. It’s truly inspirational. The kids and teens at the community centers are receiving their very own surf club. It’s all new to them at first, and it’s so amazing to watch them shine and glow, their hearts are filled with joy and they are so excited! As the years go on, the little groms become mentors to new kids who are joining the program. This is a perfect sustainable model which ReSurf has been so lucky to watch impact so many people on so many levels. It’s the ultimate way of giving – full circle.
How is each project location different?
There are no two people who hold the same fingerprint. Every community and country has a different and beautiful culture. The task ReSurf has is to find the need that can most impact them. We do this by getting our education from the directors of the community centers and doing our research before we ever start making any moves. Each program takes about a year before we go out and build a club. There is so much that goes into it.
If there was just one thing you hope the participants walk away with, what would be that be?
If ReSurf can give our participants success in life that is our ultimate goal! To create a sense of personal value, a sense of community. Most of these kids don’t come from a stable family or have the parents to help them through their everyday lives. ReSurf provides the community, mentorship, and holds their hand through life. Most of all, we teach these kids the educational tools that go along with the culture of surfing. Through oceanography and social responsibility every participant in the program is required to give 100 hours of community service, which teaches them how to give back. We also teach filmmaking and photography. Teaching them how to capture the moments. All of these tools are our recipe to give them success in life!
How is ReSurf sustainable, and what type of long-term goals have you set?
Before ReSurf kicks off a program, our model is to create awareness for the communities we are going to. Each program will have hundreds of ambassadors who are dedicated to make sure the program will be sustainable. The Idea is to develop a community within a community, it’s really a special thing to see. Our long-term goals are to build ReSurf clubs all over the world to help to make the world a better place through surfing.
Describe the impact you hope to make on the surf industry through resurf.
Surfing is really cool and sometimes a bit of a selfish sport. We often forget how to get stoked, but isn’t that what it’s all about? ReSurf is a perfect way to get that stoke back, no matter what level of surfer you are. We are also showing the world how something so simple can make such a huge impact through education and dedication. We all love watching a surf movie and living vicariously through pro surfers and their passions. ReSurf allows anyone to join us, be a part of the movement, and start living life through your own personal experiences, and spread the stoke!
What supplies do you need most and how can surfers help?
ReSurf can of course use monetary donations. Every surfboard and surf accessory, computer, digital camera, and film equipment (such as tripods, lighting, etc.) goes such a long way.
How you can help!
Anyone can be an ambassador for ReSurf. There are many call to actions. You can donate a surfboard, donate a camera, create an initiative at your work or school, and help create awareness and funds to sustain our programs. Every effort counts and goes a long way! Not only will you make a huge impact but it will be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. Learn more at ReSurf.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheers to Oran and the entire ReSurf community, from all of us here at The Surf Channel, for all of their hard work and efforts to spread the stoke of surfing!