Local Love


You may have heard of charities in the areas you live in, but do you really know what they do? In the South Bay area, there are many different charities like Live Like Doug, Jimmy Miller Foundation, and GoFundMe pages. Local charities are becoming more popular because of social media outlets. Social media has helped many charities to become more popular in the areas they are based in by getting the word out to people near the charities. By extending charities to online, people who are interested in the charity can learn more about the reason for it and when there are events to help out at and donate to.

The Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation helps people with emotional or physical difficulties benefit from the and healing powers of the ocean through activities and programs. Friends, family, and volunteers all work together to help wounded warriors and troubled children find peace through surfing the way Jimmy would teach his students. Jimmy wished to share his love of the oceans with everyone. In 1998, Jimmy turned his dream of spreading his philosophy into reality by forming his own surf company, Pure Surfing Experience. He taught surfing to anyone wanting to learn, created popular local contests, organized CampSurf to run summer day camps for the City of Manhattan Beach, and week-long away camps at awesome spots like Jalama. Jimmy said, “Everyone should be able to safely enjoy the oceans because they are good for you physically and mentally.”

The Miller Foundation serves Marines of the Wounded Warriors with ocean therapy sessions at Camp Pendleton and 29 Palms. It uses surfing to help veterans and active-duty soldiers return to regular life and deal with pain. Programs happen twice per month at Camp Pendleton. The sessions give the Marines the opportunity to learn how to surf in a safe environment. The program offers discussions run by therapists that help with the process of recovery. Through the Ocean Therapy program, the Marines are first taught the basics of surfing on-land. Then, the Marines learn to surf with an instructor in the water. The Foundation helps Marines to be successful in and out of the water. The JMF embraces these men and women with opportunities to have the healing effects of the ocean, while also celebrating what they did for our country. Sessions are located at Rosecrans in Manhattan Beach. Anyone with a love of the ocean including surf instructors, therapists, friends, and supporters are encouraged to volunteer to help.

The Jimmy Miller Foundation also helps out at-risk children in Los Angeles. The therapy sessions provide surfing instruction, while building self-confidence through group discussions led by a therapist. The children are given one on one assistance with their own personal surf instructor as well as friends and volunteers on the beach. Children who come to the ocean therapy sessions have gone through many challenges such as physical or emotional abuse that they can forget about while in the water surfing. The participating organizations include the Richstone Family Center of Hawthorne, Hollygrove of Hollywood, and Hillsides of Pasadena. Each of these organizations help children to have successful, supported lives. These sessions are also held at Rosecrans Avenue in Manhattan Beach.

The Live Like Doug Foundation is an organization for children who have lost a parent or loved one. It was created by Christine Schneider after she lost her husband and her son lost his father. Christine founded Live Like Doug to teach Doug’s life lessons to their son and to children whose lives have been damaged forever. Christine Schneider says, “Doug was an extraordinary man and he taught me and Dylan so many lessons about how to live life. I wanted to make sure Dylan would continue life in the same way. I knew that so many other kids could benefit from these same lessons and would thrive if they knew they weren’t alone and had hope for the future. I created LLD so Dylan and other kids could find support, friendship, resilience to pick themselves back up, confidence, and find a passion for life.”

Live Like Doug provides personal development programs to children after their lives have been changed dramatically. By enhancing their social, emotional, and physical well-being, the children in the program can manage hard times through compassion and enthusiasm. LLD’s social groups and enrichment programs change the children so they can move forward with compassion and an excitement for life. Live Like Doug has social circles which were introduced in October of 2016 and are monthly meetup groups that build the foundation for social connections and support. The social circles are held at beaches, parks, and local venues. The social circles are held so kids and their families can have fun doing activities. In May, Live Like Doug launched their second program called Mind, Movement, and Art. Mind, Movement, and Art is where participants were asked to submit applications for a sponsorship for an enrichment activity. Sponsorships provide support for classes, workshops, private lessons, or camps. While painting may be a loved hobby for one child, surfing may be a healing activity for another. Christine explained, “Our goal is to support our awardees with enriching experiences that are not only fun, but also promote self-expression, discovery, resilience, and joy.” Live Like Doug was able to give partial of full sponsorships to six children to take classes or camps ranging from theatrical makeup to baseball camps.

GoFundMe is important to the South Bay because it can help people with financial problems to get the money they need for their cause. GoFundMe allows people to set up websites and try to raise money for graduations, celebrations, illness, and accidents. Anybody can go onto GoFundMe and donate money to any cause they want. Wikipedia says, “GoFundMe is unique to crowdfunding in that they are not an incentive-based crowdfunding website. Although they do allow projects that are meant to fund other projects for musicians, inventors, etc., the business model is setup to allow for donations to personal causes and life events such as medical bills.” To make a charity, you need to first develop your vision or mission. After figuring out your mission, you will need to think of a charity name and start a website. You will also need to make a plan for your charity and how much money you can actually spend. Lastly, you will need to be patient and get your charity public.

Tragedy struck locals when three young children in the South Bay passed away recently. Twelve year old Logan Goodwin died after crashing into a tree stump during a family ski trip in Colorado. His family and friends immediately began a GoFundMe page to start a non-profit organization and memorials in Logan’s name. Fifteen year old Sandro McIlroy died after suffering fatal injuries from falling while holding onto the back of a car on a skateboard. His GoFundMe was set up for paying for hospital bills, the cost of building a memorial, and funeral costs. Thirteen year old Ciara Smith died while riding a bike. Her mother started a GoFundMe page to pay for her funeral.

I have worked with the Live Like Doug and the Jimmy Miller Foundation on a couple occasions. I have participated in an event for Live Like Doug and the Jimmy Miller Foundation to help raise money by selling raffle tickets. Knowing about charities near you can be important because most of the time, the charities are in need of donations and volunteers. Charities like the Jimmy Miller Foundation, Live Like Doug, and GoFundMe pages are always looking for new volunteers to help out at events and donations to help out for various causes.  Go out and get involved. I have and have truly enjoyed every minute of it.