Surf For The Cause: Non-Profit Gives Back, Volunteer (and Surf) Today!


You may have heard about or seen The Human Experience movie.  Well, we recently caught up with the guys at Surf for the Cause, a surfing non-profit that is doing some good things around the world.  You can check out their website here  So how did Surf for the Cause get started and what's it all about?

Surf for the Cause:  Back in 2004, Will Kinnane, the founder, had done a lot of surf travel and always wanted to give back to communities that gave good waves.  On his first trip, he teamed up some guys to build a few homes in Nicaragua, 12 guys packed up their board bags with all sorts of clothing and toys.  They spent 14 days working in the community, building houses, playing with kids in Sutiava, which is one of the poorest areas in Nicaragua.  The kids work in dumps sifting through the trash for anything of value, a lot of them are addicted to drugs or inhalants, and many are in broken homes.  Many families have multiple kids living in small tin shanties, it's an extreme poverty story.  So where did it go from there?

Surf for the Cause: The trip had such an impact on all the guys, they didn't want to travel any other way.  They wanted to continue doing that, they loved the feeling of surfing after making an impact in the lives those most affected by poverty.  Then in 2006, Surf for the Cause was contacted by Grassroots films to do a documentary The Human Experience.  They traveled down to Peru, 14-15 guys worked in an orphanage, with the lost children of Peru with disabilities, raised some money and worked there 2 weeks.  The movie became a hit worldwide, its been on multiple tours through Europe, South America, Canada, the US, everybody loved the film.  how did things change after The Human Experience documentary?

Surf for the Cause: After the movie, it took off, people really  wanted to get involved at all levels.  As it stands right now, Surf for the Cause is a non-profit out of Rhode Island and we are about to open up an office in Brooklyn, NY. We are currently teamed up with another great organization, Hope for the Children, and we are building a large community center / athletic complex that will have a baseball and soccer field. The land has been purchased and construction on the project is already under way. The goal is to employ locals so that when all is said and done it's self sustaining.  Will we see another documentary?

Surf for the Cause: Another film is in the works that's all I can say now…  So where do you guys do work, and how can people sign up, and what is required by volunteers?

Surf for the Cause:  We've done work in Peru and Nicaragua and we are teaming up with Flying Kites, an organization dedicated to providing orphaned children the tools they need to be successful in life, to build an orphanage in Brazil. There are many ways people can get involved; we are always looking for people to donate or come with us on a trip. We have eight trips lined up this year starting in December. The typical trip is ten days and we generally do most of the volunteer work in the mornings for the first five days. During the last five days we will get in a van and hunt the surf… so there is an incentive for volunteers to come. Volunteers are required to reach a fund raising target which will pay for their trip as well as contribute to the project. Volunteering with SFC doesn't necessarily mean doing physical labor, in fact we encourage our volunteers to use their talents. For example we don't want a doctor or an artist going down there to swing a hammer, we want them to use their talents to benefit the community in the best way possible.  So what is the cause?

Surf for the Cause: The cause is whatever we want it to be, every third-world coastal community has certain needs and it is our mission as surfers to fulfill that need to the best of our ability.

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  1. It’s a beautiful thing. We’ve got a guest with us now who is going to do work at the dump in La Chureca for a week. We’re putting a link up on our site. Thanks.

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