AXD – Surfers for Autism

Photo Courtesy: Alpha Xi Delta

Abigail Ngo/Alpha Xi Delta Publicity Chair

On Saturday, Oct. 7 the women of the Theta Omicron Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta were able to volunteer and experience a day at the 8th Annual Central Florida Surfers For Autism event in Jacksonville Beach, Florida! The organization behind this event goes by the name of Surfers for Autism. This organization was started by a small group of surfers back in 2007 whose lives and families had been touched by autism. Due to this, they decided that they wanted to do something more for the community affected by autism. The result was mixing two things they are very passionate about surfing and helping the cause so near and dear to their hearts. The mission statement of Surfers for Autism is as follows: to unlock the potential of people with developmental delays, support advocacy for autism issues and scientific research. To make this mission a reality the great people of Surfers For Autism put on events such as the one Alpha Xi Delta was able to participate in this year! Regardless of your experience level, all hands are helpful at these events. The surf teams are set up in such a way that there will be one experienced surfer to teach and coach the participant on how to get up on the board. Alongside them will be two to three more volunteers that will aid in helping the participant stay safe throughout their surfing lesson. Alpha Xi Delta was able to jump in as surfing assistants and had the chance to firsthand experience the impact something as simple as this can have on an individual that is on the spectrum. Not only through this event do the participants have the chance to surf and interact with those that can aid in helping them develop positively, but through these events, money is raised for research and support of these families. Throughout the event, sisters heard countless times messages of gratitude for taking a day to invest in their family member’s life and numerous testimonies about what this these events have done for their family member. Surfers For Autism recognizes the ripple effect their events have which include uniting communities and groups through volunteerism, and the women of Alpha Xi Delta were honored to be a part of it. Autism Speaks is close to any sister of Alpha Xi Delta’s heart, but this goes far beyond raising money for one organization. To Alpha Xi Delta it means lending a hand to further the support and research of all organizations advocating for the autistic community. Alpha Xi Delta is grateful to the individuals of Surfers For Autism that allow them opportunities to serve in their very own community and make a change for these special individuals.