OUR does not just rescue, they restore. That is what makes this organization so special.
When I first saw this surfboard last year it was discarded in the corner of a little surf shop in Jacksonville, Florida. It was scarred, dented, cracked, nicked, broken, and covered in surf wax, sand, and dust. But when I laid my eyes on it I did not see those things. I saw the beauty of what it once was and the hope of what it could become again.
When I began the process of restoring this board I sat down and began planning out the steps of what it would take. I thought about completely re-doing it to make it brand new again but then it hit me. The children rescued by OUR have suffered through and overcome an incredibly traumatic experience and their scars will never completely disappear. But like all of our scars they do not have to define us. This board's scars tell it's story but they do not define it.
So as I broke out the tools and began the restoration process I kept that in mind. As I ran the sand paper over the dents, cracks, and nicks in an attempt to smooth them out I saw the beauty being restored while also not forgetting that the scars were still there. And then something amazing happened. Over a period 92 day period the board transformed and became more beautiful than it had ever been, but not because it was renewed. The beauty came from its character. The sanded down fiberglass blended with the scars the board had suffered in the past and created something unique and unlike any board I had ever seen. It's color was more rich and the scars reflected the light in a way no other board could. Just like the rescued children of OUR, the boards past did not define it... it simply laid the foundation for a beautiful future.
Eventually this foundation gave way to new found beauty. The free hand art at the top of the board shows a sun shedding light on the process of restoration, and using that light to help liberate the child along the modern day Underground Railroad. The middle of the board is dedicated to the Coordinated Rescue efforts that have liberated so many innocent lives from the captivity of human trafficking. Each of the successful operations carried out from 2013 to 2017 are on the board along with their locations, how many victims were rescued, and how many perpetrators were arrested. Under the OUR logo is OUR promise, the Recovery Planning Logo, and the Changing the Mindset Logo.
All of the art on the board was done free hand with fine tip sharpies and it was well worth the time, patience, and effort. All the funds raised in this auction will go 100% to Operation Underground Railroad.
Thank you to all those who donate. The OUR surfboard will go to the person or group who donates the highest amount of money. So feel free to gather donations from your friends, church, business, school, athletic teams, and community and submit them as one donation. If there is a tie for the largest amount I will put the names of those who have tied in a hat and do a live lottery drawing!
My prayers are always and constantly with the victims of human trafficking and those who are working tirelessly to rescue them from their captivity. God bless you all.