How something bad can be changed into something great!
Last Sunday, Patti, a good friend and volunteer of Team Ricki offered to transport the surfboard Ricochet uses when she surfs with kids/people with disabilities & wounded warriors to the beach. We were filming a segment for ESPN, and Ricochet was to surf with several individuals.
When Patti went to her car to get the board, she pretty much freaked out… it wasn’t there. She was white as a ghost as she delivered the news to me. She was frantically trying to figure out what could have happened. She and a couple other volunteers jumped in her car to re-trace her path & look for it. They returned about an hour later… no board to be found.
One of the many things I’ve learned on this journey with Ricochet is “things happen for a reason”. And that’s exactly what I told Patti. There was some reason we were no longer meant to use that board. Fortunately for that particular day, one of the camera men had a board we were able to use.
The board that was lost was a 13’ SurfTech soft top board. We need to use a soft/foam board so Ricochet can grip it. SurfTech had very graciously donated the board to us four years ago, so they were the first people I thought of to replace it. I was embarrassed to tell them that we lost the board, but I knew there was nothing else I could say. I was hoping they could donate another board. Unfortunately, they are in pretty bad financial straits so the best they could do was give me a discount, and charge me $595 for an $800 board. I was grateful.
But, I didn’t have an extra $595 lying around. And even though several of Ricochet’s Facebook fans offered to pay for it, my initial reaction was NO! We never take anything for ourselves, and I certainly didn’t want to this time either.
But then, I got a few comments on pictures I posted from the day of surfing. They were from the parents of a couple of the kids…
Gina’s daddy is in Afghanistan, but took the time to comment…
"I'm Gina's dad. Thank you very much for surfing with her again. She loves it! I only wish I could have been there to see it in person."
And West's mom commenting on one of the pictures of Ricochet surfing with him.
"This pic means more than anyone will ever know. When West was first diagnosed with Autism we were faced with so many challenges. One of the hardest ones was that he could not be off the ground. His therapists tried and failed to put him on swings and devices, but he would scream. The lack of control was terrifying. So to see his feet off the ground and him letting Ricochet take control is inspiring. West has come so far."
Those comments made me realize that I had to swallow my pride, and ask for help. Ricochet needed a surfboard to continue her work. To continue her magic. This was about the kids with special needs, people with disabilities, and wounded warriors… not about me.
So, with that I created a fundraiser to raise the $595 to purchase the Surf Tech surfboard. Within ½ hour, $595 was raised!! Ricochet could surf again thanks to these amazing people that came together for the greater good.
So, in the spirit of allowing what is meant to be… to be, I posted that the $595 goal was met, but if people still wanted to donate & be part of the surfboard initiative, I would allocate the funds to Ricochet’s current fundraiser, “Save a dog, save a warrior”. Donations continued to come in.
As I write this blog, $3270 has been raised! $514 is going toward the surfboard, and $2756 is going to the “Save a dog, save a warrior” fundraiser.
Not only did an amazing group of people come together to help purchase a surfboard so kids/people can continue surfing with Ricochet. But, this group of people have now saved the lives of a dog and a warrior!
The bad luck of a surfboard flying off a vehicle turned into so much goodness. If Surftech would have just given me a new surfboard, I would have never had the opportunity to ask for help. If I wouldn’t have asked for help, scores of people wouldn’t have donated. If I would have stopped posting at $595, we wouldn’t have raised additional funds. If additional funds weren’t raised, we wouldn’t be able to save the lives of a dog and a veteran.
So, to Patti… thank you for losing our surfboard. To SurfTech… thank you for helping us realize asking for help is ok. To all our donors… thank you for wanting to help even after the goal had been met. To all the parents & family members of those Ricochet surfs with… thank you for trusting my dog.
Next time something bad happens in your life… try and see the potential for goodness. Try and turn your tragedy into triumph. Ricochet taught me how to do this, and I hope this mutt'amorphosis will teach you too.
PUPDATE: The pawmazing SurfTech gave us an additional discount on the board, so the total purchase price is $514. The additional $81 was allocated to the "Save a dog, save a warrior" fundraiser.
We created “Team Ricki” stickers that each surfboard donor will receive. A sticker will also go on the surfboard to represent the connection between Ricochet, the board, the donors, and of course those that ride with her.
DONORS (these donors are also included in the "Save a dog, save a warrior" fundraiser
Surf dog Ricochet
Ricochet speaks! A blog from a surf dog's paws'pective!
Get email updates of new blog posts!