Mentorship program brings together volunteers and kids in sand and surf – Daily Breeze

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Nearly 200 children, many of whom arrived on shore for the first time, built sandcastles, learned to surf and bodyboard, and took part in a massive relay race on Saturday, September 18.

It was the 20th Annual Beach Day, sponsored by the non-profit PS I Love You foundation.

Being back in the sun and on the sand was uplifting, said founder Patricia Jones.

“When you hear that healthy laugh from a child and realize: this is what’s supposed to happen – all the time, for all of us,” Jones said on the Monday after the event when the association associates a adult volunteer to an underserved child. .

Jones was overjoyed, she said, after a year when so many of us had little to celebrate.

Day at the Beach, after being canceled last year amid the pandemic, brought in single volunteers and those from other nonprofits such as Walk with Sally, Boys and Girls Club, Richstone Family Center and National Charity League. A total of 350 people came to help at the community-wide event, Jones said.

  • Kids participate in the sack race at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Carter Krauch, 13, walks in front of the Los Angeles Rams mascot Rampage at the Day at the Beach event in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Children compete in the relay race at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Kids participate in the sack race at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Los Angeles Rams mascot Rampage participates in the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a day of fun and Healthy Ties in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Coach Keith Ramsey and members of the Mira Costa baseball team take part in the Day at the Beach event in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Tony Drockton and Shelley Ramirez hang out at the Day at the Beach event in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Patricia Jones, founder of the PS I Love You Foundation, which hosts the Day at the Beach event, poses with members of the Manhattan Beach Rotary Club on Saturday, September 18, 2021. From left to right, Lynette Chiabai, Shannon Ryan, Hilary Mahan, Patricia Jones, Debbie Goldberg and Jordan Holberg. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Stella Traylor takes a photo of Daja Williams, left, and Leah Blake at the Day at the Beach event where the PS I Love You Foundation brings together nearly 300 boys and girls aged 5 to 12 from neighboring communities in the south of France. served with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • The PS I Love You Foundation brings together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a day of fun and healthy bonding in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo d ‘Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • The PS I Love You Foundation brings together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a day of fun and healthy bonding in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo d ‘Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Leah Abdullah, 11, grimaces as Michelle Rocker applies sunscreen to her face at the Day at the Beach event in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo by Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Beach Sports owner Tommy Ostendorf and 11-year-old Jessie Martinez have fun in the waves at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • The PS I Love You Foundation brings together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a day of fun and healthy bonding in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo d ‘Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

  • Beach Sports owner Tommy Ostendorf and Areaella Adera, 12, have fun in the waves at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Beach Sports owner Tommy Ostendorf and 11-year-old Jessie Martinez have fun in the waves at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Nannette Kordic and Samantha Martinez, 7, have fun in the waves at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers to a day of fun and healthy bonds in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Eric Bush and Rafael Avendano play in the sand at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a fun and healthy day at Manhattan Beach on Saturday September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Zuleyka Benitez watches 8-year-old Kattalea Ramirez play in the sand at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a day of fun and healthy bonds in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • Nannette Kordic and Samantha Martinez, 7, have fun in the waves at the Day at the Beach event, bringing together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers to a day of fun and healthy bonds in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021 (Photo by Axel Koester, Contributing Photographer)

  • The PS I Love You Foundation brings together nearly 300 boys and girls ages 5 to 12 from nearby underserved communities with 300 Beach Cities volunteers for a day of fun and healthy bonding in Manhattan Beach on Saturday, September 18, 2021. (Photo d ‘Axel Koester, collaborating photographer)

Sponsors for the event included TechStyle Fashion Group of El Segundo, South Bay Lexus and CDC Small Business Finance.

When she launched the appeal for children ages 5 to 12 this year, Jones said, many organizations that send children, such as the Boys and Girls Club, were ecstatic. They told him that the children they serve need human relationships more than ever.

Bringing together people from a variety of backgrounds, Jones said, can foster an uncomfortable connection at first. But then, as the kids start to interact with people who may be different from them and come from different places, the mood starts to change.

“There is that hope,” Jones said. “The world can be different from the way I see it. And it’s okay.

It’s about planting a seed of inclusiveness, Jones said.

Jones began her social / emotional learning program for at-risk youth in 1998. The idea behind PS I Love You, which she and volunteers have rolled out across South Bay, is that self-confidence, respect and compassion form a basis for later academic success.

Jones teaches that there are only four things we can control in any given situation: Choose what we think, say, do, or feel.

And, she says, it doesn’t matter how or where you live. Harnessing those thoughts, words, actions and feelings can be powerful.

“Whether you live in a car or in a mansion, the impact of these four things can change your perspective,” Jones said.

For Day at the Beach, it’s the personal connection that makes the difference. In fact, Jones said, as they played in the sand, she heard a child say to a friend, “It’s the happiest day of our lives.”

You never know when a single person can impact your life, Jones said.

“He or she could break something that you were struggling with,” Jones said, “or they could build something that you didn’t know was there.”

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