Age Is Just a Number in Supporting Orphaned and Vulnerable Children

Unity 4 Orphans’ Wave-A-Thon draws surfers and boogie boarders of all ages and raises funds for orphaned and vulnerable children in San Diego and Latin America.

San Diego charity Unity 4 Orphans volunteers at Wave-a-thon

When Joe Brandi made an announcement in a church service at La Jolla Christian Fellowship and asked for participants for U4O’s 3rd annual Wave-A-Thon, Kristan Peterson felt a tug on her heart to stand up alongside many other volunteers. Although many seemed much younger, she knew her experience as a lifelong boogie boarder meant that she could contribute to orphaned and vulnerable children in a tangible way, and at that moment, she made a commitment.

I thought, “Okay, Lord, let’s see what we can do together for the kids.”

-Kristan Peterson

Looking for Volunteers Begins in Our Own Communities

San Diego charity Unity 4 Orphans' wave-a-thon volunteers

Kristan has given to various charities throughout her life, but this was her first time participating in a fundraiser. She began gathering sponsors from her church community, friends, and family, and her efforts certainly paid off: she ended up raising the highest amount of donations amongst the group of 25 surfers and boogie boarders. She reached out to people she had helped over the years, and told them, “No pressure, I love you anyway!”

Back in the 60s, I would drive to the beach and body surf out at Scripps. I loved to boogie board with friends, and my mom loved it too, boogie boarding into her 80s. She’d be thrilled that I participated in this awesome event.

-Kristan Peterson

Opportunities to Give Can Be Found at Any Age or Circumstance

At 75 years young, Kristan was the eldest participant, and her positive energy and outlook inspired many others. Two friends joined her in the water for support, as well as her husband from the beach. After riding a few waves, she decided she would catch 75, a lofty goal that stretched her mentally and physically, but one that she achieved!

San Diego charity Unity 4 Orphans' wave-a-thon volunteer Kristan

Perseverance and Philanthropy Go Hand in Hand

Although the weather and surf conditions were perfect, after catching 50 waves she began to get tired and asked God for strength to keep going. She was getting cold and the full-body workout of riding waves to shore and standing up to turn around for the next one became more and more difficult. Still, she kept going, and met her goal, earning several days of rest to recover from sore muscles all over.

While I was out there, I was thinking, “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it!” Gratitude overwhelmed me, for my friends, for the perfect waves, to be able to contribute to this great organization, to be alive, and to be out there to see God’s power and beauty. What a FUNdraiser!”

-Kristan Peterson

Kristan is already looking forward to next year’s Wave-A-Thon and hopes to gather a group of seniors and older adults to join her. With the youngest participants being only 7 years old, the event really is fun for all ages and brings together people from all walks of life to surf, boogie board, volunteer, give through sponsorship, and cheer from the shore. She feels blessed to have been a part of the team and to support Joe and his awesome team!

Watch our event recap video

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