Humble and hardworking, that’s Tani! Just about every month without fail, Tani is one of the first people to the beach. Patiently waiting for our Breadtruck and Van to arrive full of gear, he’s there smiling and ready help us take charge of setting up. Once the event gets going, you’ll find him at Assisted Swim, helping our participants enjoy a good float in the ocean. We could go on and on about both the hardworking and humble part, but it’s best to share with you all Tani’s experience as a volunteer in his own words.
I was born and raised in different parts of Oahu, and grew up around the ocean my entire life. I love the sport of surfing, but never really got into it physically, preferring body boarding and body surfing. My first experience volunteering with AccesSurf, came during Day at the Beach of February of 2016. I have a dear friend named Tina Lee, a bay area transplant who fell in love with Hawaii and AccesSurf. She would always share stories of her experiences, and about the friends she made. She was constantly urging me for a long time to come out and volunteer. After several months of her urging me, I finally did it, and I will say it was an awesome experience, and has been ever since. I’ve kept myself to assisting the Assisted Swim Team, partially because you can work directly with the participants, it’s much more personal. I enjoy working alongside Jeff, Linda and Deb, which is also why I also make time to volunteer at the swim clinics. AccesSurf has also been a very humbling experience for me, every Day at the Beach, and Swim Clinic, my personal problems fade away. The participants, who might not have the basic abilities that I take for granted, like walking, show up with a much more positive outlook on life than I do. So every event I show up for, the “me” mentality is gone and I feel like it’s time to stop complaining and do the best to enjoy the life I have. The participants, do much more good for me than I could ever do for them… And that’s why I keep coming. I feel honored to have the privilege, of volunteering with AccesSurf.