The Hero Effect – Episode 10 – Indo Jax Surf Charities
Posted by Becca      February 11, 2018      Gallery, The Hero Effect

The mission of Indo Jax Surf Charities is to empower medically fragile special needs and at -risk youth by exposing them to the ocean environment and teaching them to surf.

Located in Wilmington, NC, Indo Jax Surf School and Charities began in 2007. Founder Jack Viorel was looking to combine the concepts he learned as an avid surfer and teacher to provide a free therapeutic surf program for kids with mental, physical, or financial challenges. His first camp was for children born with HIV/AIDS and was a tremendous success. By 2009, they were serving children on the autism spectrum, those with visual impairment, diabetes, wounded warriors, and more. When the charity component outpaced the surf school’s budget, they started the non-profit Indo Jax Surf Charities.

Nearly 10 years later, Indo Jax serves nearly 1,000 children per summer with their free therapeutic, self-esteem building surf camps. They boast a base of 35 highly skilled and trained instructors. They have equipment that has been specially made and in many instances designed or modified in-house for the specific challenges of their students. Indo Jax has expanded to a program in India for orphan girls and a program in California for children with various special needs. The bulk of our program is in Wilmington, NC where they hold camps for hundreds of children each summer who are at-risk, medically fragile, or have special needs. Children who go through our program inevitably go from a place of reluctance and fear to a sense that… “If I can surf, I can do anything!”

To learn more visit indojaxsurfcharities.org

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I want to take a moment to thank my friends Samantha & Colleen for helping me get the screencaps of this show while it was airing.

Photo Additions – 2013 Appearances
Posted by Becca      February 04, 2018      Gallery

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The Hero Effect – Episode 9 – Cheyenne River Youth Project
Posted by Becca      December 08, 2017      Gallery, The Hero Effect

Poverty has a profound effect on family structure and self-esteem, which contributes to a variety of social ills. Located in one of the nation’s 5 poorest counties, the Cheyenne River Youth Project serves the Cheyenne River Reservation community in Eagle Butte, South Dakota by offering youth programs and family services that foster healthy choices and life practices, as well as provide immediate relief and create opportunities for the future.

The CRYP, established in 1988, has become an essential youth and family services organization, integral to the Cheyenne River Reservation’s support system. The organization has become vital not only because it provides innovative youth programming and family services, but also because it is a grassroots initiative tailored to meet the needs of the community. With over 369 family memberships reservation-wide, CRYP represents local problem solving for critical community concerns.

CRYP is a well-rounded service organization comprised of several major components:the Main Youth Center, the Family Services Program, the 2 1/2 acre Winyan Toka Win (“Leading Lady”) Garden, Social Enterprise initiatives, such as the Gift Shop & Keya Cafe and Coffee Shop, the Waniyetu Wowapi Art Park, and the ?okata Wi?oni (“Center of Life”) Teen Center. These components create a collaborative synergy and represent the holistic approach of the Cheyenne River Youth Project® toward assessing and meeting community needs. It has been recognized for its achievements locally, regionally and nationally.

The Cheyenne River Youth Project® appreciates the chance that it has been given to serve youth on Cheyenne River, providing the coping skills that will help them reach beyond the poverty, beyond the dysfunction, beyond the pervading sense of hopelessness that exists.

To learn more visit lakotayouth.org

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The Hero Effect – Episode 8 – Katie’s Krops
Posted by Becca      August 15, 2017      Gallery, The Hero Effect

Katie’s Krops is a non-profit organization focused on empowering youth to grow a healthy end to hunger in their community, one vegetable garden at a time. Their mission is to empower youth to start and maintain vegetable gardens of all sizes, donate the harvest to help feed people in need, and assist and inspire others to do the same. Katie’s Krops provides the funding, support, and education to enable young growers to start, maintain, and ultimately harvest their vegetable gardens for donation to food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters, backpack programs, and cancer centers to help feed individuals and families in need in their communities. Their long term vision is to grow a healthy, sustainable solution to hunger by developing a large family of young growers across all 50 states.

Katie’s Krops was founded in 2010 by Katie Stagliano, who in 2008 at the tender age of 9 grew a 40 pound cabbage in her backyard and donated it to a soup kitchen where it fed 275 people. Moved by the experience, she started Katie’s Krops which currently has over 100 youth-run gardens in 31 states. With gardens from Maine to California, Katie’s Krops vegetable gardens are producing thousands and thousands of pounds of healthy food for families in need. The ultimate goal is to plant 500 gardens and reach all 50 states. The young Katie’s Krops growers are making a major difference across the country through their involvement, inspiring change and bringing communities together to help those in need. Kids Fighting Hunger, One Garden at a Time!

To learn more about Katie’s Krops visit KatiesKrops.com.

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The Hero Effect – Episode 07 – Treehouse Foundation
Posted by Becca      July 31, 2017      Gallery, The Hero Effect

The Treehouse Foundation was established in 2002 by foster/adoptive parent Judy Cockerton who saw the tremendous need for new approaches to support the success of some of our most vulnerable children. After four years of research, planning, engaging widespread support from congregations and individuals, and building organizational collaborations, the Treehouse Foundation opened its first major initiative, the multigenerational Treehouse Community in Easthampton MA, in June, 2006. It is a multi-generational affordable community connecting the elderly with foster families. The community model engages public investment and is designed to help move children out of foster care and into permanent loving families who live among a close knit group of neighbors age 55 years and older. Older members of the community serve as surrogate grandparents and children are able to relate to one another because of their shared experience of growing up in foster care.

Community is at the heart of the Treehouse Foundation. The cornerstones of respect, compassion, collaboration and commitment create a strong foundation for restoring and strengthening the well-being of children in foster care. Finding families for waiting children and surrounding them with a caring community that is infused with a spirit of mutual responsibility and sensitivity to one another’s needs – this is the work of the Treehouse Community.

To learn more visit the Treehouse Foundation.

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The Hero Effect – Episode 06 – Rising Tide Car Wash
Posted by Becca      May 08, 2017      Gallery, The Hero Effect

Since it opened in Parkland in April 2013, Rising Tide Car Wash has experienced great success, empowering young adults with autism and inspiring communities to change their perception of their capabilities. With 35 employees, Rising Tide is one of the largest employers of people with autism in the U.S. Since its inception, Rising Tide has created 75 jobs in the South Florida area.

Breaking down tasks and creating systemized processes for all daily responsibilities helps Rising Tide’s associates with autism realize their incredible capabilities, gain confidence that they never had before, make friends, gain financial independence, and have a place to call their own.

Rising Tide co-founders John and Tom D’Eri created the business to develop a scalable solution to employing individuals with autism. They were inspired to do this by watching John’s son and Tom’s brother Andrew, a vibrant young man with autism, struggle to find his place in the world.

John and Tom D’Eri; along with Tom Sena, CFO of Rising Tide Car Wash; recently launched Rising Tide U, a separate entity from Rising Tide Car Wash. Rising Tide U’s goal is to inspire and teach others to put the potential of those with autism to work through building sustainable social enterprises. For more information about Rising Tide U, visit www.risingtideu.com .

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The Hero Effect: Episode 5: Raising Readers in Story County
Posted by Becca      May 05, 2017      Gallery, The Hero Effect

Raising Readers in Story County aims to improve language and literacy development in children from birth to age eight and nurture healthy parent-child relationships. Raising Readers has many programs focused on babies and their families from birth through elementary school. Some of their flagship programs include a Super K program to help prepare young children for kindergarten and Reading Corners all over the county for people to relax in a rocking chair and enjoy a book in a public reception area. Volunteers read to children in the Reading Corners and at Storytime provided after school for those in subsidized housing that often don’t have the access to books or opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities. Raising Readers has given out over 10,000 books each year, many through their Reach Out and Read program offered in pediatric doctor’s offices to utilize books as a tool for assessing developmental milestones and provide free books to families to enjoy with their child from 6 months to 5 years old. The Raising Readers team also provides an array of information and teaches parenting classes to help raise a better reader.

To provide greater access to books for those children in Story County, they have set up dozens of Little Free libraries that look like an assortment of books held in a birdhouse available for anyone in the area to take or leave a book free of charge. Their annual Step Into Storybooks events are an opportunity to attract thousands of people in the Story County area to participate in an assortment of activities around different books with a variety of volunteers in costume. This is a fun filled event for the whole family, where every child gets to take home a book and positive memories around the joy of reading.

To learn more visit Raising-Readers.org

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The Hero Effect – Episode 4: Mary’s Center
Posted by Becca      March 06, 2017      Gallery, The Hero Effect

Maria S. Gomez is the founder of Mary’s Center, a community health organization providing health care, education and social services in the DC metropolitan region.

In 1988 while Maria was working as a nurse at the District of Columbia’s Department of Health, she witnessed a large increase in the number of Latin American immigrants migrating to the United States to escape war, poverty, and death. Many of the women had been raped or experienced other trauma in their journeys north. Once in the United States, these women often went without prenatal care because they had nowhere to go. Mary’s Center was founded that year to help meet the needs of these vulnerable women. Created with funding from the D.C. mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (OLA) and the D.C. Department of Health, Mary’s Center started delivering bilingual health services to pregnant women and their infants in the mainly Latino areas of the city’s Ward 1.

Under Maria’s leadership, Mary’s Center has grown from an initial budget of $250,000 serving 200 participants at a basement in 1988 to an annual budget of $45 million serving over 36,000 individuals at seven locations and one mobile unit in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Maria has been the recipient of numerous local and national important recognitions, including the 2012 Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor. Originally from Colombia, South America, Maria holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley.

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