We’re long overdue in celebrating the absolutely amazing Gigi Jones (pictured above, selling merch with Candy) as Volunteer of the Month. Gigi does so much for us behind the scenes and is a fixture at nearly each and every AccesSurf event. But it would be near impossible to mention Gigi without recognizing the entire Jones ohana. So – Gigi, thank you for everything you and your ohana do for us at AccesSurf!
Here is what AccesSurf means to Gigi, in her own words:
We arrived on island a little over five years ago. I immediately started looking for therapeutic recreation for my two sons with autism. I found AccesSurf online and was in touch with Mark Marble over e-mail and phone. Our first Day at the Beach experience was in October of 2011. Our two sets of twins were given the opportunity to surf for the first time ever! After getting over my nervousness over my kids being out on a board without me, I got to witness the BIGGEST smile that has ever lit up my son’s face! There were a lot of tears of happiness from this momma that day and I immediately knew that AccesSurf was something very special. I was given the opportunity to volunteer right away. I wanted to be a part of this awesome group. I was lucky enough to get to help out with fundraising efforts. I enjoy selling AccesSurf merchandise with my girl, Candy every month at DATB. Now, my husband and daughter volunteer as well. I encourage people to volunteer and to participate every chance I get. I can’t wait to share the stoke with everyone.
You see, it is very hard to find things to do with special needs kids. Most moms drive their kids to soccer or baseball practice, special needs moms drive their kids to therapy. To have something as wonderful as AccesSurf and the experience and energy they provide is the biggest blessing to our ‘ohana.
What does AccesSurf mean to me? Freedom. Love. Energy. My boys have the freedom out on those waves. No one is judging them or freaking out over their meltdowns. AccesSurf has their arms wide open for my kids and there really aren’t enough words to describe how much that means to me. The love and energy you experience at AccesSurf events is like no other. The hugs, the joy, the support that you get fills me with so much happiness that I feel as if I could burst.
Being honored as Volunteer of the Month is so wonderful but I owe AccesSurf more than I could every repay. Mahalo to ALL of the volunteers. We are all part of something special.”