Monday, June 18, 2012

Best Day Foundation, Bolsa Chica State Beach, June 16, 2012

"You know, We're All Special"

I wanted to share with you a little bit about my second experience working with Best Day Foundation.  The event was held at Bolsa Chica State Beach (in Huntington Beach, CA.)  For more about Best Day, see my previous post.

Periodically throughout my day at school today I found myself grinning, thinking about the kids this weekend and how awesome they were, so full of life and personality.   

A shortage of volunteers caused us to do some last minute scrambling to make sure every kid had a "beach buddy"; the shortage also meant no one to man the wetsuit/life jacket/helmet station, so that was a bit of a zoo.. needless the say, the morning was full of excitement and a little chaos (a perfect recipe in my book).   Somehow,everything ended up running smoothly.... with smiles and laughter the ultimate indicator of success.  

My favorite part of the day was the awards ceremony at the end of the day.  The kids were so excited, and got all prepared for their "walk of fame" down the  "runway" to collect their awards, many of them putting on a show or doing a little touchdown victory dance; the parents were smiling ear to ear; and I was so flooded with emotions and happiness that I got all choked up.  

During my Nursing Leadership class today, we were talking about successful teamwork, and how a good team can make or break a company (organization, group.. whatever it may be).  
A great team, made up of passionate people with a common goal, is the key to success. 

That's the secret of Best Day... a group of people who are passionate about helping children...with no ulterior motives, nothing to gain.... except this unbelievable, indescribable, overwhelming feeling of joy you  get when a kid gives you a hug because you made his day (or week, or year... ), simply by spending a few hours with him at the beach.  The smiles that are so full of gratitude that it gets you choked up.  
The beauty of it is that something so simple and easy to give can result in a feeling that is ultimately  priceless; an invaluable gift for both the giver and for the receiver...  It is beyond what I can put into words.     

When we were playing volleyball on the beach, a little girl looked up at me and said, 
"you know, we're all special."  
She was right... we're all special.  My mom has always told me to "place yourself in an environment in which you wish to thrive, and surround yourself with people who will bring out the best in you."  
I did just that during my day at the beach, surrounded by extraordinary, special people.. the volunteers, the kids, the parents, and the Best Day Team.    

I am humbled by the generosity of the volunteers, blown away by the positive attitude of the kids, and in awe of the tenacity and tireless dedication of the Best Day team.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity to experience firsthand all of the extraordinary and special people that make up The Best Day Foundation. 

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