Our goal is to provide a fun day at the lake for neglected & abused children in local children's homes. We want to not only benefit the home itself, but also make sure the kids themselves are our focus. They, too, deserve lifetime memories of fun in the sun with people that care.
Wake the World (WTW) is a 501(C) (3) non-profit organization started in North Carolina by Greg Hodgin that focuses on teaching watersports to abused, neglected children as well as people with disabilities and wounded warriors. WTW is a group of boat owners who volunteer their time and resources to teach water sports, water safety and provide a day of meeting new friends on the lake to children that have never had the opportunity to experience water sports. The interaction with the children combined with the success of learning a new sport has proven to be a self-esteem booster for those that otherwise would not have the opportunity to participate in this sport.
WTW was started in 2008 when 8 families provided a day on the lake for residents of local children’s home. It has now grown to over 50 events held in 28 states including Canada. WTW has grown quickly and has attracted the attention of people that realize how important it is for these kids to experience a sport totally unique. In 2013, WTW became the largest all-volunteer organization of its kind now with over 500 volunteered boats worldwide. The staff strives to make each event well-structured with a network of boat volunteers and sponsors who support each event. Each event is sanctioned and insured through the World Wakeboard Association, and liability waivers are provided. Each driver must complete a mandatory comprehensive safety course before they are allowed to participate.
Our volunteers are awesome people that donate their hard-earned money, willing to burn a vacation day, buy a lot of gas, share their most expensive toy with people they have never met AND they do it with joy in their hearts"
-Greg Hodgin WTW founder
Wake the World Alabama has been providing smiles to the kids of the Big Oak Ranch (BOR) since 2011 and plans to continue for years to come. Our “staff” consists of local volunteers that are excited to work with these children to teach them water sports and water safety. Without their time, boats and knowledge…combined with the support of our generous donors…..this event would not be possible.
In 2022, we hosted our largest and most successful event in Alabama on Smith Lake. We had 150 children plus 24 house parents from the Big Oak Ranch all accommodated by 26 boats and countless volunteers. The grand total was over 200 people brought together to focus on these kids enjoying a day on the lake. The children that call the Big Oak Ranch their home are there because their families could not or would not provide the basic needs for them to become a quality young adult. Many of these children have never had a day on the water as we provide, with someone focusing on them to teach them a new sport or even helping them overcome a fear of the water. The result at the end of the day is truly amazing.
To learn more about Big Oak Ranch click the button below
Building a strong lake community of boat drivers and volunteers while giving back by teaching watersports to abused and neglected children. Many of us take a "day on the lake" for granted where so many children have never experienced the lake and watersports and what it has to offer.