Over the last year, we have spread the message of Hope Town Rising throughout our local community.
Our mission at Hope Town Rising is to marshal and deploy the resources, expertise, and knowledge needed to assist the Hope Town and Elbow Cay community in recovery and rebuilding. In the near term, this means providing care for those remaining on Elbow Cay and stabilizing the infrastructure and build environment. In the long term, it means providing the support needed to implement the vision and plans of community leaders in restoring this beautiful and special place.
Every now and then, we are overwhelmed by the generosity and support from members of our community.
Change can be brought upon by one individual with a passion so great that it makes a deep impact in the lives of others, especially those in need on the small island of Hope Town, Bahamas.
This individual just so happens to be a 13-year-old native from our hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.
Meet Annie Adams
Annie is a 7th grader at Episcopal High School where she is also the Founder and President of the Surf Club. We first learned about Annie when her mother, Claudia Adams, reached out to us via email:
I saw the surfboard donation on social media and wanted to reach out. For about a year after Hurricane Dorian, my now 13-year old daughter sold stickers and rubber band bracelets to raise money for the victims of Hope Town. We told her we would match it but we’ve never gotten around to handing it off to the right people. I have a Ziploc bag of the money she raised and would love to donate it. She also has a soft-top surfboard to donate to as well. She is a member of the Sunrise Surf Shop Surf Team so we can drop it all off there if that works. Please let me know if that’s the best way to donate the money.
We had the opportunity to chat with Annie and ask her a few questions about her connection to Hope Town and what sparked her passion to start a fundraiser. Check out our Q&A with Annie:
Where did your passion for surfing begin?
I learned to surf when I was 7 years old. While staying at my family’s beach condo, I watched surfers out in the water and thought…maybe I should try that. My dad taught me by pushing my board into the waves.
Tell us about your experience in surf competitions.
I’ve been to North Carolina for a big surf contest and South Florida for other contests. I did pretty well. I’ve competed in the U-14 Division and I’m ranked 7th on the East Coast. There are a lot more guys participating than girls, but a lot of the girls who go do really well…sometimes better than the boys.
What do you love about surfing?
The most fun that I have is when I am surfing with my friends. I love sitting in the ocean, talking, and catching waves with my friends. It’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy teaching younger people how to surf too. That’s why I started the Surf Club at Episcopal, so I could help show others how much fun surfing can be.
I would love to stick with surfing all of my life and would like that to be how my life turns out when I’m older.
What is your connection to Hope Town?
I have visited the Bahamas a lot throughout my life. It’s such a beautiful place.
When I heard about this huge disaster, Hurricane Dorian, that came through… I wanted to help out. I made rainbow loom bracelets, bookmarks, and stickers. I made the stickers from scratch using parchment paper. I wanted to make the stickers for everyone, so there is a huge variety of design options. I sold them off the curb from my house.
What advice do you have for others your age who want to try surfing?
Courage has always been a little bit of a struggle for me. For surfing, you can’t let other people judge you. If they do, then they are not good people. You can’t hang on to the past either. You can’t hold back because you are nervous that other people are going to judge you. Go and take the wave and surf.
Change Begins with You
We sincerely thank Annie and her family for their contribution and for spreading awareness to help Hope Town. Annie raised a total of $220 and her parents generously matched the $220. Annie expressed that she would like the funds to be distributed where it’s needed the most. Annie and her family’s donation will go directly to rebuilding the Teachers Cottage. As Annie would say, “Everyone deserves to go to school.” Learn more about our Teachers Cottage Initiative.
About Hope Town Rising:
Community Assistance Foundation Inc is a 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or the corresponding section of any future federal tax code. Among its missions, the corporation provides safety, dignity, comfort, and assistance to communities and their members both directly and through service organizations that share our purpose. All donations are tax-exempt.
The rebuild, however, will be a long-term process. This effort will need the continuous help of people like you, people who love Hope Town. Through your donations and gifts, we’ll give Hope Town and Elbow Cay the support they need to rise again!