Boys to Men Mentoring charity en route to record fundraising year thanks to ol Johnny Bones Florence…
On Sunday, John John Florence alerted his 1.4 million social followers to his participation in the @100WaveChallenge.
In his initial post Florence wrote, “I need some help from kids around the world to reach the wave count!”
Clearly, this is cheating by old-school 100 Wave Challenge standards.
John is recruiting wave catchers to can his 100-wave count. Fortunately, Joe Sigurdson, the event creator, and co-founder of Boys to Men Mentoring that it supports, was near tears when he saw Florence’s brilliant marketing move.
“You have no idea how huge this is for us,” says Sigurdson. “He’s saving lives. All these kids are saving lives and most of them don’t even know it yet.”
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Every dollar raised helps at-risk kids in underserved communities gain access to powerful group-mentoring services. Their efforts mind blowing, and their secret to success is simple and scalable: “The key is this: our mentors never — never ever — tell kids what to do,” says Joe. “All we do is listen to them. We let them release their pain on their terms. Then — and only then — do we begin to share our own stories that might relate, and the lessons we learned along the way. Sometimes the hard way. It’s really that simple.”
By participating in weekly group sessions these at-risk boys, most of whom are fatherless, find the positive influences they’ve been yearning for.
In time, that translates into better grades, healthier relationships, and overall better choices that improves their trajectory as humans.
And when they notice it working, they find others to bring in.
For their part, Boys to Men Mentoring uses their resources to identify, recruit, and train the army of volunteer mentors.
They also organize group outings and coordinate after-school programs with education administrators. The original San Diego chapter of Boys to Men Mentoring has programs in nearly 40 schools.
Today, there are chapters all across the USA.
In the three days since Florence’s began posting donations have surged by $40,000, bringing the 2021 total to $370,000. “I think we’re on track to beat last year’s record of $508,000 by the end of November,” says Sigurdson. “And heck, we had to get creative to make that happen.”
Last year, COVID nearly forced the cancelation of the 100 Wave Challenge entirely. Untiil then the event was a massive one-day gathering held only in San Diego, where hundreds of like-minded participants caught 100 waves in a matter of hours while Joe and his team supplied food, drink, massage tables, swag, and entertainment for the crowd.
“We thought we were done when the city told us we couldn’t gather,” Joe recalls. “But our surfers convinced us to pivot and loosen up the rules. So last year, we asked people to do it at their own beach, in their own timeframe. We also made it a seasonal campaign. All the sudden, we had people taking part in this all over the country.”
Florence was one of many fresh notables who joined for the first time last year, along with CJ Hobgood and Josh and Sierra Kerr. Shaun Tomson and Damien Hobgood, meanwhile, have been huge backers of Joe and the 100 Wave Challenge for years.
“This is our 12th year of doing this,” Sigurdson explains. “It’s funny because every year we see people get roped into doing it and they really have no idea what they’re signing up for. But eventually they look under the hood, and they see what our program is all about, the impact it’s having, and that’s when they decide this is going to be their thing. This is how they can give back in a meaningful way and have a great time doing it.”
If you’d like to learn more, donate, or participate, visit 100wave.org.