The support that the Valpo Surf Project receives from around the world never ceases to amaze us. This year we have had the pleasure of working with an incredible New Jersey native named Lila. Lila first heard about the VSP through her surf instructor Nick Napolitano. Nick began volunteering with VSP back in 2013 when he was living and working in Valparaíso (he continues to volunteer with the VSP in the US). When Lila found out about the project, she was immediately inspired by the combination of surfing, cultural exchange, and helping others. She took it upon herself to find a way to help support the VSP, even from 5,000 miles away. Lila started collecting backpacks and other school supplies to send down to our students here in Valparaíso.
With the beginning of our 2017 English classes, arrived the last batch of donations from Lila. We handed out the remaining backpacks, pencil cases, notebooks and various other supplies to our students. They were so excited to receive some school gear all the way from the US! It has been truly humbling to be given such a generous donation. We are very inspired that someone who has never been to Chile or met our students would be so selfless and willing to help others in need.
Lila’s story with VSP was featured on the local news channel: http://newjersey.news12.com/news/jersey-shore-teen-collects-supplies-for-chilean-students-as-part-of-valpo-surf-project-1.11532198 as well as in a blog by the NJ surf camp that she assists in teaching surf lessons: http://www.girlswaveriding.com/#!Meet-Instructor-Lila/uk3w3/576834370cf298ca495d95f2.
Lila’s passion for helping others is truly contagious. We cannot thank her enough for all of the support. If it weren’t for all of the incredible individuals that advocate for the program, VSP would not be what it is. We are so grateful for all of our donors and program supporters around the world.