In strong winds and choppy waves, Thursday, September 26th, four local nonprofits celebrated the sunset on the water, paddleboarding as champions, honored for the hard work they are doing for the community.
Airbnb’s Week for Good highlights local nonprofits that impact their communities. Through Rising Up Adventure’s therapeutic paddle program, Airbnb paid for several spots for local changemakers who are impacting their communities to be treated to an evening of challenge, victory, group bonding and relaxation with the sunset on the water.
With recent strong winds, Shake A Leg Miami was quickly recruited to work with Rising Up to provide a safety boat, an experienced captain and an additional paddle guide.
"It’s important for us to support local communities through the changemakers who are on the ground making an impact,” states Conor Berkery, Account Manager for Airbnb’s social impact experience program. We assist local nonprofits to fundraise through our platform. They can advertise local events, and our travelers can book experiences in which they can work together with the local community to make an impact while traveling.” “Rising Up Adventures works with us through their visitor supported therapeutic paddle program for survivors of trauma. We wanted to take a night to honor all of the partners that support this important work. We wanted to give them a special night.”
Rising Up quickly reached out to other nonprofits who work incredibly hard to support this community and offered them a transformational adventure. They paddled with staff representatives from Glory House of Miami, a local safe house and service provider for survivors of human trafficking, as well as Idea Center, MDC, who trains and supports local social enterprise. Staff reps were invited to come join Shake A Leg, Rising Up, and select Airbnb hosts for a special night on the water.
There was a police officer in attendance as a guest of an Airbnb host who was able to thank Glory House for the transformational and important work they are doing in the community. As Miami is the third-largest hub for human trafficking in the nation, collaborations such as this work to build bonds in the community such that they can all work together to bring our community along a continuum of care.
Marketing Team members Jonieth O’Neill and Daniella Granadillo of the Idea Center at MDC were honored for their important work in supporting social enterprise to impact the community through marketable services. As a graduate of the Idea Center's Impact Miami and Scale Up Miami programs, Rising Up Adventures has been able to generate the funds necessary to provide empowering paddle programs for clients of Glory House Miami, Lotus House, and Genesis Hopeful Haven. These therapeutic adventures are paid for through income generated through Rising Up's paddle and bike adventures for the general public. Airbnb supports this social enterprise through marketing and reservations system for free.
Shake A Leg Miami, an expert at providing safe, inclusive marine experiences for people with physical, developmental, and economic challenges loaded all of the participants into their boat, enlisted skilled captain, Craig Kirk and Curriculum Specialist Megan Deehan, and together with Cara Sadira of Rising Up Adventures, whisked the group off for a night of bonding, paddle boarding, adventure and celebration on the water.
“We couldn’t be more pleased,” comments Conor Berkery. “Our hosts were blown away by the work these people are doing. This is why we do what we do, to support and encourage this type of community building around the nation.”
“We blew the conch shell at sunset, from a boat on the bay as the city lights started to illuminate the landscape and our group thanked one another for all of the great work and made plans for working together more, ” said Cara Sadira, Executive Director of Rising Up Adventures “We strengthened our appreciation of what we are all doing in this community. This is why we bring people out into the water, it builds deep bonds. When our nonprofits come together, there’s nothing we can’t do together."