No gift is too small to help the hurting and broken. I have learned through this ministry the value in every bit of support, no matter how large or how small. The generosity and support of individuals is what continues to restore hope to the least, last, and lost of Orange County.
And sometimes, support comes from the most unexpected places! The Orange County Rescue Mission was contacted last week by pro surfer Malia Ward, who decided to donate her surf competition winnings to donate diapers to the children of the Mission! I would like to thank Malia for her generosity and selflessness, which has blessed so many children in need.
Please read on for the inspiring story of how a $100 surf competition prize is helping 82 homeless babies in dire need.
Last weekend’s scorching heatwave came along with incredible waves. Newport Beach lit up with 6-8 foot perfect surf for the city’s 38th annual surf contest. Pro surfer/model Malia Ward emerged as the winner of the prestigious Open Women’s division. For winning the competition, Malia took home a $100 dollar check. Her Instagram post, a photo of her with the large check in hand, quickly raised comments and debate.
Many comments mocked the amount, saying things such as, “100 dollars for winning 1st place, what a joke?!” Malia didn’t take the negative comments to heart, but instead responded, “It’s all in how you look at it. Yeah, 100 dollars isn’t much for winning a surf contest but I got to surf perfect waves all weekend and do what I love.”
Malia made the situation more interesting when she turned on Fox News the next morning to see homeless babies in desperate need of diapers and wipes. “I saw the need for help at Village of Hope and something clicked. I could turn my 100 dollars into something meaningful, and at the same time, stop the silly bickering and focus on something important,” Malia said.
Malia decided to donate her 100 dollars to the cause. Then she asked family and friends to match the donation. Within a day, her $100 turned into a $1,000 as family and friends rallied behind Malia for the Village of Hope where the babies reside. With the $1,000 she was able to purchase 2,400 diapers and 100 boxes of baby wipes.
Malia’s mom, Jacqueline Miller, shared her feelings, “It’s awesome how [she] could turn this situation, where people are complaining about a prize being too small, into something that actually has meaning. I’m proud of my daughter for what she’s doing, seeing the silver lining and showing everyone that 100 dollars for winning a surf contest, with some thought and heart, can help change lives.
I am very thankful for the outpouring of community support. But diapers, especially sizes 5 and 6, and wipes are a big need. If you want to join Malia and help the babies at Village of Hope, please call this number: (714) 247-4300 or click here.