“I have lived in California all my life, but because I was in a wheelchair, I have never been able to go out to the beach. This is the first time I have been able to taste the salty waters of the sea and ride the waves. The experience has been beautiful.”
‘The Day on the Beach’ is an annual event sponsored by Shared Adventures. The heartwarming event provides individuals with disabilities an occasion to enjoy a fun-filled, exhilarating day at the beach. They participated in water sports – surfboarding, kayaking, canoeing, or scuba diving that they had never dreamt of.
SSSIO members of Northern California have been volunteering at the event since 1992. This year, after a two-year hiatus due to COVID, there was excitement in the air as 100 volunteers, and more than 500 participants with disabilities made their way to Cowell’s Beach on July 9, 2022. They were greeted with live music by a talented local band. The guests, thrilled with anticipation, could hardly wait to get into the water for kayaking. Seeing how modern technology could help people with disabilities navigate the sandy beach and operate the kayaks to their great enjoyment was genuinely encouraging.
After the guests returned from the ocean, they were treated to a wide array of food prepared by volunteers. Afterward, they participated in many fun activities, such as rock painting, face painting, ball sorting, and memory games. Everyone also enjoyed more music and entertainment.
The joy radiating on all the faces truly proved Swami’s maxim that the joy of selfless service is not limited to the recipients alone.