We are an open and welcoming community, anyone who has ever volunteered or participated with us has felt this. But sometimes, someone comes along and feels like an instant member of our ohana. Enter Carl! As the Commanding Officer of US Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point Hawaii, even long before his first event Carl was supporting us by helping to store our big ol’ bread truck full of surfboards on base. But it was once he finally attended his first Day at the Beach that we knew, right away, that he was one of us. Hardworking and humble, Carl jumped right in to the Water Transfers team, where he has been a super star. So much so, we could barely find any pictures of Carl because he is always in motion! Although we did find this ultra rare photo of Carl actually – wait for it – taking a break! 🙂
That said, Carl is currently recovering from a recent heart attack, so we are hoping he takes this opportunity to finally slow down for a bit while he is on the mend – we know that the moment he is able, he’ll be back full tilt. Until then, we are wishing him a speedy recovery and grateful to celebrate Carl as Volunteer of the Month. With that, here is Carl’s experience with us in his own words:
Sometimes things find you when you least expect them and often when you aren’t looking for new things to come into your life. Often they are the thing you need more then you know and can help transform your life and make you smile bigger then you did before. AccesSurf was just that thing I was not looking for but found me. In 2015 I came back to Hawaii to the Coast Guard Air Station just down the road. Several of my guys were Accessurf volunteers and we stored the AccesSurf wagon on the unit to provide a safe place for the gear. My folks invited Cara to give a presentation about the program and also ensure, that as the new guy, I was ok with keeping the bread truck at the unit. I’ve never had an easier decision to make. I knew the program was amazing and Cara……she could sell it better than anyone. I thought this was going to be the extent of my involvement, and it was for about a year. Cara kept inviting me to come out and one excuse after another, I seemed to never be available. Then one day I decided to come to the Day at the Beach. I couldn’t believe the wonderful people that volunteered and more importantly the smiles on the participants faces. I was hooked. Not knowing where I could help, I decided I was big and could carry heavy things. That would help with the set up and tear down and was perfect for water transfer. Getting to know the participants and help them get in the water has been truly amazing. I had a heart attack this past month, so I’m not carrying heavy things now, but I will be again soon and can’t wait to work water transfer again. Until then I hope that Cara can find work for me that I can still do.