Meet Winter Vincent: a 9-year-old humanitarian who has made the will to help people as much a part of his life as surfing. This profound young grom from Manly Beach, Australia traveled to Indonesia with the Waves4Water crew where he facilitated the delivery of clean water filters to over 5,000 residents of the Mentawai Islands. However, what he did to get there was as equally impressive as his undertaking. We sat down with Winter and mum Mel to better understand his motivation, inspiration and future goals as a young surfer/philanthropist.
Aside from the simple fact that winter absolutely rips at surfing (a young Gavin Beschen, right?), the first thing that strikes a chord in this fascinating story is that Winter is doing philanthropic work at such a young age. In fact, in writing this article, Microsoft Word mistakenly auto corrected Winter’s age by putting a 1 in front of the 9. I guess my computer didn’t believe it either. So how did this 9-year-old from Manly Beach, Australia come to be motivated to deliver clean water to the citizens of the Mentawai Islands?
“It kind of started with a school project for World Water Day,” Winter explained. “The project was called ‘Kids Can Make a Difference.’ So I checked out the Waves4Water website and saw Rob Machado and Connor Coffin and guys like that were surfing these amazing places and helping people along the way and I thought I could do that. But even before that, when I visited Bali I remember noticing there was so much rubbish everywhere. The rivers were disgusting, it was unbelievable.”
Inspired by pro surfers/Waves4Water ambassadors, Winter continued his interest in helping provide clean water to the developing world by giving a speech at an assembly in front of his school, during which Winter raised $3,000 and even auctioned off two of his own surfboards to help the Waves4Water cause.
Taken back by the Winter’s altruism, Waves4Water founder, Jon Rose, reached out to Winter to commend him on his thoughtfulness and offered to take him to the Waves4Water campaign to Indonesia.
“My take on it is that it started small and organic,” said Mel. “He got the guts to get up in front of his school and come up with the idea to raise money and give his boards. It was not structured or conscious, he just wanted to give it a go.”
When asked what the future holds for Winter he quickly replied, “I want to raise more money. My goal is to raise $35,000. I need to get 700 more buckets to provide for 70,000 more people. After that I think I might go to South America. I think they [Waves4Water] want to go there. There are spots there, too. ”
Winter’s story is truly inspirational. To think that a kid at such a young age would be so ambitious in mitigating the world’s severe water crisis is simply humbling. Additionally, Winter believes it is imperative to educate people in order to undermine the sickness and disease that is associated with dirty water. I just hope that Winter’s teacher gave him an excellent note for his “Kids Can Make a Change” school project. If not, you’ll be hearing from the masses, Winter’s teacher.
For more information on the Waves4Water organization, please visit WavesforWater.org
To see more of Winter’s epic journey, check him out on Instagram.