What is AWOW?
A Walk On Water is a non profit organization that gives special need families a day free of worries, stresses, eases all concerns and provides freedom! From the moment you arrive to the moment you leave you are treated as family.
Now what is AWOW to us?
AWOW is our extended family, our son JJ has autism and a severe form of Epilepsy. He has many obstacles that prevent him at times from having a quality of life, however at our very first event he was smiling, playing with the sand and doing his best to interact with the instructors. There was an instructor who just clicked with him and his name was Ruben, Rube and JJ hit the waves and I watched in awe. Rube had to work for JJ's trust but that didn't seem to stop him.. now, so you know for comfort JJ is a fighter getting him from the sand to water is a bit tough but once he's out there he LOVES it! In fact now a year or so later he will go out with Ben who is another AWOW instructor he has built trust with and truly loves the beach. If your a parent wondering if this would be a good fit for you I strongly recommend giving it a shot! The entire team is amazing! Patient, caring, loving and truly wonderful.
We have been very blessed to be a part of such wonderful souls! We can't wait for the next event and to have some fun!!
Nicole and Mike (Parents of JJ and Faith) of San Bernardino
As parents of 2 special needs children, we strive to find happiness and success for our twin boys. We deal with the various daily challenges that life showers us with. However when we are at an A Walk On Water event,the world stops and we feel like it is a day to celebrate our children. At an A Walk on Water event, they greet us with open arms and our children are loved unconditionally. The world may be full of challenges and frustrations, but at an A Walk On Water event the only challenges the children face are the challenges they encounter out in the ocean catching waves alongside their surf instructors in a safe environment. Every wave is different , just like every child is different. Surfing provides so many benefits for our kids, it brings a sense of calm and happiness. It also builds their confidence and independence. Surfing benefits their body as well as their soul. Every member of AWOW guides them in this process. The pride kids feel when they catch a great wave is intrinsic and does not require any validation from the outside.But of course... everyone there on the beach will be their best cheerleaders and fans.We can see how relaxing, how exhilarating and how transforming this experience can be for our twin boys.Every AWOW staff plays an integral role : from the administrative role to the volunteers on the beach and the surf instructors in the water. It is a well run program comprised of efficient members.A.W.O.W is indeed ,"surf therapy"...and A.W.O.W. truly heals.
Thank you .
Nadine and Charles (Parents of Christian and Christopher) of Malibu, CA
terri | santa barbara, CA
“I just wanted to thank you again for another wonderful surfing adventure at Hollister Ranch with AWOW. You and the other owners at Hollister Ranch are so generous to welcome the families of kids who have special needs to enjoy a fantastic day of beach fun at your beautiful private Bulito Beach! Everything was perfect. The kids and their families had a great adventure, and we felt very pampered. The AWOW family does a wonderful job of putting on this event. We have been so fortunate to be able to come three times! And our son, Kevin, has done better each time. This time, after a long time of Pat helping him, Kevin was able to pop up onto hands and knees, the best he has ever done. And the huge smiles on his and Pat’s faces, brought tears to my eyes! After that, Pat just had to push him off, and have another surfer catch him as he was able to ride in by himself (on his tummy, but all smiles!) Paul, Kevin, and I were absolutely impressed once again with the professionalism and caring that the AWOW group showed us. All the surf instructors, and all of the volunteers, did their very best to ensure a wonderful and safe time was had by all. Please pass along our heartfelt thanks to all the other owners at Hollister Ranch, for allowing this awesome event at their magical beach!”
Thanks so much to everyone involved with A Walk On Water. We had an amazing day! It was so inspirational to see Brody out on the water. He was absolutely over the moon all day & like a different little boy when we got home. It really meant a lot that not only was Brody invited to go surfing, but his brother was also invited. We had the best day as a family that I can remember!
April | oak park,ca
“The beach is most ideal as it is a full buffet of sensory experience. Sound, wind, sand, water, movement.. it’s all there. One of the bests days in recent memory was when me and my two boys participated in A Walk On Water’s free one day, surf camp for special needs kids. Unlike most special needs camps, they allowed my neuro-typical son, Avery to participate as well. Avery always claims to dislike the beach but not this day.. this day was a surf day. Surfer’s are definitely on a higher plane than the rest of us.. they experience being a part of something that is so much bigger than ourselves. The ocean has a way of humbling you, frightening you and making you love it all at once. Both kids were hooked instantly and couldn’t get enough. This day was one of those times that can only be described as ‘magic’... pure magic!”
MOMENTS FROM MONTAUK
10.1.15 • Part Dolphin •
A quote from our dear friend Laura Rubin:
"This is Angela. She had the wave of the day with Jean Pierre Pereat (the Pelican) on Saturday. Made section after section. She came out sputtering slightly and wide eyed.
As I walked her to the tents, I asked her if she was part mermaid. She responded definitively "No, part dolphin", with a glowing smile. These stories, experiences and relationships are why we do this."
9.26.15 • The Clash •
Montauk local Walt Lindveld's son went surfing for the first time today with AWOW Lead Surf Instructor Steven Lippman. He shared the following with us:
"What AWOW does for these kids would make even the toughest man cry. So much love is shared. I mean, my boy went surfing! What's better than that?"
9.26.15 • Nicholas •
I have waited a very very long time for this day. That is my nephew Nicholas throwing the hardest Shaka you have ever seen because he finally got to surf. He caught two of the longest rides of the day And two amazing wipeouts. I think he qualifies as a surfer now. My life is pretty much complete. Thank you so much @awalkonwater @stevenlippman my new favorite tribe. Special thanks and love to @zerodisplacement for paddling him into his first waves and keeping him safe and calm. And for blocking a huge paddle board with your face and arms to keep it away from nick when things got a little hairy. Love you guys. Can't thank you enough. So so stoked you guys are making camp in Montauk. Welcome Home.