It’s National Volunteer Week (Apr. 12-18)!

Jill Watkins-Tierney

Mail Order/Cash Receipts

When I was very young I would sit down by the waters edge digging up sand crabs for my dad because this was what he used for bait when he was surf fishing. This is one of my many favorite memories of being at the ocean and beach.


Being a native of Southern California, I was born at Centinela Hospital in Los Angeles.  Laker’s Fan Forever!


We relocated to Anaheim where I spent my elementary schools years and literally growing up at Disneyland. My dad worked for Carnation Disneyland from 1955 to 1968. In the late 1950’s and early 1960’s the yearly family vacation’s consisted of camping trips to Doheny State Beach. The cost for camping was 50 cents a night. There was and still is nothing better than the sun, salt water, sand and campfires.


My next chapter began in 1968 when my family moved closer to the ocean to Laguna Beach. This was the time of Junior High, High School and Timothy Leary. At the early age of 6, my dad took me out into the ocean and taught me how to bodysurf but it wasn’t until we moved to Laguna that I learned how to surf and ride waves on our canvas rafts. One day, someone came along and gave me a bellyboard, made by Greek surfboards.  This was to be the one of the best things that has ever happened to me as I spent all day at the beach and countless hours in the water.


 Years later I moved to Lake Tahoe, for too long, only to return to Laguna in 1992 when my son was 6 years old. And the story repeats itself as he, too, grew up on the beach and in the ocean…the best playground in the world!


Our love for the ocean and beach crossed paths when a good friend of ours introduced us to the Surfrider Foundation. My son, Chapin, and I began volunteering in 1997 and we both have had the incredible opportunity of working along side and meeting the most dedicated and focused group of people.  I believe that all who have been involved and touched this organization has without doubt brought something to the table. In my position in the Mail Order Department and in balancing the daily cash receipts I do not consider it just “a job” is challenging yet a passion and a purpose.


We need to know that through all of our life experiences, the good and not so good, we always end up exactly where we are supposed to be.