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Surfing dog and veterans with PTSD help kids with disabilities catch waves of empowerment
Ricochet has been providing therapeutic assistance and creating unique surfing experiences for kids and adults with disabilities for over seven years. In that time, there have been numerous life-saving and life-changing transformations in the people that she has helped. Those transformations led to an organic evolution with Ricochet’s newest program called Waves of Empowerment (WOE).
The WOE program is about inspiring and empowering kids with special needs, people with disabilities and military with physical and emotional challenges like PTSD to help themselves by helping others. These individuals are now volunteering to assist new people with disabilities who want to surf with Ricochet. The interactions in the water or on the beach cultivate renewed spirits and a sense of purpose for both the participants and volunteers.
Everyone involved is developing relationships with each other as they are working side-by-side. They tend to start interacting more, their social skills improve and their compassion & empathy are enhanced. Safety is of utmost importance and there is always seasoned instructors in the water that have years of experience and expertise in adaptive surfing. Siblings of participants are a big part of the program, and offering them volunteer opportunities keeps them involved, active and an essential member of the team. When kids are are allowed to help other kids surf with Ricochet, it gives them a sense of worth. Their self-confidence blossoms and their accomplishments are endless.
Ricochet always offers an abundance of love and paws-on healing during these surf sessions. She knows what each individiual needs and provides it. Personal tragedies are turned to triumphs through the healing power of the ocean, and the healing power of a dog.
Although not every military participant or volunteer has fought in war, they have all fought health battles. Active duty service member or veteran who would like to volunteer to help Ricochet surf with kids who have special needs are always welcome.
In addition to veteran and disabled volunteers, the organization is always looking for water men and women, photographers, videographers, cheerleaders and friends. Children of our volunteers are encouraged to help out, too. They assist at the shoreline, catching the board when it comes in, and screaming cheers of encouragement.
Learn more at SurfDogRicochet.com.