What connects Volcom and Project Hope Alliance? Most people would miss it at first glance. But then, at first glance they would also miss (and probably dismiss) much of what makes Volcom — the international skate, surf, and snow brand — unique, as they would miss (and dismiss) the potential of the homeless students we serve.
Project Hope Alliance (PHA) has been serving homeless children in one form or another since 1989. And over the last 5 years, we’ve been able to end homelessness for over 850 children and parents here in Orange County. In the last 2 years we’ve expanded our educational programming, working directly with homeless students on campuses in the Newport-Costa Mesa School District. This year, Volcom helped 41 of our high school boys and girls start 2018 fresh.
When your family is homeless, new clothes are a luxury pushed aside for the necessities: rent, food, maybe some school supplies. When you don’t get hand-me-downs for your new jacket or pants, clothes are often second hand. The contrast between what should be normal and your life is never greater than when you go back to school from Christmas break. While other kids are showing off their gifts, you’re doing your best to be invisible.
This year, our kids will get to stand out. By providing each student a new pair of pants, shirt and jacket in their size, Volcom has given our students one less thing to worry about, and one more thing they can be proud to wear. With one less reminder about the circumstances of their life, our kids can spend more time focused on their passions.
Volcom and PHA both know that circumstances should never have to define who we are, and especially who we can be. In the Irrational Pursuit, the Volcom Ambassadors share how they transformed themselves to overcome the negative expectations people had of them to create and pursue their own passions; to be driven by their frustrations, not be defeated by them; to find themselves by escaping beyond their circumstances.
We couldn’t agree more.
Our hope is to bring the same passion that drives Volcom to our kids, and let them explore the full potential in their lives.