The journey from Montauk to Block island is a long one... But the journey for a child battling mental health issues is even more strenuous.
Paddlers for Humanity, a non-profit organization benefitting children suffering from mental health disorders, hosts the Block Island Challenge, an 18-mile cross-ocean paddle starting on the coast of Montauk and ending on Block Island's shoreline. The event benefits youth who struggle with their mental health. Mental health is an under-addressed calamity, especially in young children. With the upcoming 11th anniversary of the Block Island Challenge, Paddlers for Humanity has raised over $700,000 for the cause, directly illuminating mental health issues and combatting them with firsthand attention. According to the organization's website, Paddlers for Humanity's primary goal includes "supporting innovative and comprehensive mental health programs for kids and youth, including greater early intervention outreach, resiliency, anti-bullying, and changing behavior through a focus on the positive."
The persistent paddlers, transporting from Montauk to Block Island on kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes, traverse across the sea with one common goal: to bring hope to children suffering from their fears and sadness. With each scoop of water pushed behind them, they've pushed a stride closer to attaining their goal. The constant slosh of the ocean, the fear of the deep unknown, and the glimmer of hope sunlight sprinkles across the rippling tide all incite a desire to reach not only Block Island but also the goal of improving children's mentalities.
My uncle has participated in this somewhat daunting yet ever inspiring feat for six years, now. This year, I'm joining him for the 18-mile paddle. Each participant commits to raising a minimum of $1500 for Paddlers for Humanity. Please consider supporting my endeavors and contributing to the efforts to fund youth mental health programs with a small donation here.