Encinitas nonprofit recognized as ‘GoFundMe Heroes’
The founders of an Encinitas-based nonprofit have been recognized as “GoFundMe Heroes” for the outreach they’ve done with at-risk youth.
The nonprofit, Rollin’ From the Heart, was founded by Alison Brown and John Barry in memory of their son Ian. In 2012 at age 22, Ian died after an accidental fall from a bluff in Leucadia.
“My wife and I, we didn’t know what to do with our grief,” Barry said. “It was so intense and so deep, it threw us off course so much that I knew I had to find some positive way to get through that, to funnel the love I had for Ian and figure out how to heal. This felt like the best way to do that.”
Rollin’ From the Heart was launched in 2013, inspired in part by the “amazing outpouring of people” who remembered Ian and the impact he had on their lives.
“They were all telling the same story, that he was this remarkable young guy who was extremely kind and compassionate to everybody,” Barry said.
Ian, an avid skateboarder, surfer and builder of custom Harley motorcycles, worked at Brixton in Oceanside. He was known to his friends as “Poods,” a nickname he hated, because of the way his curly hair would grow long and resemble a poodle.
His dad said the nonprofit was meant to embody the “kindness, compassion, acceptance, tolerance” that Ian’s friends knew him for. It goes to youth shelters, youth centers, homeless shelters and other facilities to organize activities such as skateboarding, surfing and camping for low-income and at-risk children to help them develop life skills.
Long term, the nonprofit wants to continue developing new programs.
“I want to find some people in the industry who would be willing to work together to open a skate camp,” Barry said.
For more information, visit rollinfromtheheart.org.
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