When’s the last time you’ve been thoroughly inspired? As an organization that supports purpose-driven businesses, the Organik SEO team is lucky to experience this feeling more than most, but last night, especially, our team and the guests who attended a special private event we held were privileged to experience this on an entirely new level.
When we initially spoke with Erin Miserlis, the U.S. Director of Development for SurfAid, we were inspired to host an event for the non-profit and invite our fellow purpose-driven businesses and friends. A number of our clients and friends offered support in the form of snacks and drinks (a big ‘thank you’ to our friends at Suja Juice, NuttZo, and Hero Nutritionals). We knew that the evening would be a lovely one, but Dr. Dave Jenkins, the founder of SurfAid, left us inspired and primed to act after his talk.
[While we’ll try to do him justice, no one can tell it quite like Dr. Dave. See his Ted Talk here.]
The SurfAid Story (in a Nutshell)
We hosted a small gathering at our office in Solana Beach for SurfAid and Dr. Dave shared his story. He founded SurfAid after a surfing trip to the Mentawai Islands during which he experienced the extreme poverty and health issues prevalent there. As he described during his incredibly moving account, his friends and he were on a high from surfing, which quickly ebbed after seeing a number of very small graves when visiting the local village that evening. Children were dying from health issues that are preventable. Sanitary and behavioral changes were all this community needed to help prevent deaths. But changing ingrained behaviors in a community is no easy task. Regardless of this challenge, Dr. Dave couldn’t ignore their plight.
SurfAid was founded shortly after his trip with the mission to help prevent deaths through behavioral changes – like using mosquito netting to help prevent malaria. The SurfAid team becomes involved in communities and finds the best ways to help communicate important health messages. Dr. Dave and his team are change agents, meaning they don’t simply give out supplies and stop engaging with communities. They spend time with the villagers and become a part of the community. Because of the work that he’s done, mortality rates for mothers and children from pregnancies have significantly decreased. Women, Dr. Dave, explained, once seeing the positive effects that water sanitation, good nutrition and proper hygiene have on their health (and especially their children’s health) will spread the word to their families and friends. SurfAid also became involved with emergency response. As Dr. Dave and his team are involved and active with a number of coastal communities they have been called upon–and received humanitarian awards–for their emergency response work after the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, the Mentawai earthquake in 2007 and more.
How You Can Help Change the World
His mission and passion for providing resources and aid to impoverished areas greatly inspired all of those in attendance. Many happily donated and others, too, started brainstorming about ways we could help spread the word about SurfAid and its mission. Here’s how you can get involved: HelpSurfAid.