Freedom Is Not Free

Rating: 4.92 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Philanthropy

Location: 11578 Sorrento Valley Road Suite 30 San Diego CA 92121 USA

Mission: Aiding wounded service members and their families, and the families of the fallen.

2009 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

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Rating: 5 stars  

14 people found this review helpful

My two children found the experience overwhelming and wonderful. The program offers them an opportunity we wouldn't have been able to provide otherwise. They also were excited to be recognized as special because they are military children. I plan to be involved as much as possible in the future.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

that they gave my children a skill for life.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

13 people found this review helpful

It is wonderful to see an organization such as this to give back to the military community. My oldest son participate in the The little Warriors Surf camp and he had a wonderful time! The staff of Freedom Is Not Free and surf instructors were all great and my son could not stop talking about how much fun he had, i.e, making new friends, learning to surf, and just having fun! As if that wasn't enough, he was given his own surf board! This fun filled day could not have happened without the support and generosity of Freedom Is Not Free! Thank you again for your support!

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very friendly and hospitable staff

Ways to make it better...

If the camp lasted a few more days! My son had a great time though!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

Thank you!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

15 people found this review helpful

I can tell you that the camp has been over for about 2 weeks and it is still the topic of conversation in my household, my children's peer group and extracurricular events along with discussion with strangers surrounding questions like "what have you girls done this summer." They had an absolute BLAST and meeting other kids that can relate to their loss is undeniably valuable. Jay Kopelman has a huge plate when it comes to seeking and helping families that are suffering with loss, the prospect of loss and the efforts of active duty families but he is up to the challenge. I have full confidence in Freedom Is Not Free and have taken every opportunity to share this event and previous conversations on direction and goals with Jay... I thank you, from the deepest part of my heart, for all of the time and attention you have offered my family. Big THANKS to Surf Diva for the instruction and the Shores Hotel for their participation in helping to sponsor this event.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working with Jay Kopelman as a donor and as a proud parent who's children were invited to attend the Little Warrior's Surf Camp.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Join the organization as a volunteer.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Honesty and forward goal discussion.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

courteous, respectful and committed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Change the lives of families who have given the ultimate sacrifice - provide resources and needs to families who have experienced life changing disabilities or death... while that can never be regained, a smile is often enough for the day.

Ways to make it better...

the girls had MORE days at camp... ha-ha... they could have done this everyday... they really enjoyed the experience.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

keeping families positive in the midst of tragedy but somehow allowing them to be empowered in using the resources vs. cared for by another. I believe there is a difference.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I sincerely appreciate all of the efforts put forth by Freedom Is Not Free and all its members for without YOU, the active duty - the fallen and those injured in combat... freedom wouldn't have a place in our language. (PS... my husband is active duty)

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-7-01

Rating: 5 stars  

17 people found this review helpful

My son participated in the Little Warriors Surf Camp this August (2009) and had an amazing experience. He learned how to surf, met some new friends, and received an incredible surfboard to take home with him so that he can continue to practice what he learned. This camp was very special because my husband has always wanted to teach him to surf, but due to his 4 deployments to Iraq and upcoming deployment to Afghanistan, as well as the prep work required to go, little time was left to teach our son to surf. Now when my husband has some free time the 2 of them can sneak away to surf if only for an hour. The instructors were wonderful as well as all the prep work that went into preparing the camp. I was always well informed of any information needed for the camp and quick responses were always given to all of my questions. We feel very blessed to have had this experience!

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide the opportunity to even more military children who really are the silent sufferers in the wars on terror. Military children have to go through so many events without their deployed parent and they do it proudly without ever complaining.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

16 people found this review helpful

Freedom Is Not Free is amazing!!!!My children had the opportunity to attend the Little Warriors Surf Camp and I could not believe how wonderful it was until we attended. My spouse is currently in the Army and we live in San Bernardino County in Southern California and was informed of this organization through our Batallion FRG Leader. After reading about the camp I was so excited to sign my 13 and 10 year old girls up but I thought for sure that we would be turned away because of our location. (It has happened in the past from other camps), that did not happen. I called and my girls were instantly signed up and ready to go to the camp, that was it. The day of the camp we were greeted and provided with everything my girls needed for that day. My husband and I left so my girls could give their full attention to the instructors rather than us and we would come back later in the day. Upon leaving at the end of the camp I had noiced that my girls had not only gained surfing skills but relationships with the instructors or the camp!!!! We were all so happy that we were going to leave with another positive story to add to our memories and right before we left they asked for the kids to stay for a brief moment and that is when they provided the kids who attended the camp SURF BOARDS!!!!!!!!My family was very overwhelmed that I had to let the people that we know about this amazing opportunity that we had been apart of. Thank you so so so much for giving families like us the opportunity to take part in your camp and to bring light to our day. Thank you!!!!!!!!!!Redlands CA....

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

N/A

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Amazing. The staff made us feel that they were there for a purpose and they made everyone feel like they were wanted.

Ways to make it better...

N/A

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

This organization has a meaning and a purpose.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I volunteer as much as I can to help raise money for the best non profit, I believe, that is out there.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Friendly and greatful for every donation

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help soldiers coming home with mental health as well as phisical help that the VA government run program cannot afford to help them with

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-5-01

Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

We were a last minute addition to Freedom Is Not Free's Surf Camp for kids in LaJolla, CA. My son Christopher is 9 and was able to attend the last day of camp with 6 other kids in our neighborhood. We live aboard Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton and in our neighborhood half of the dads are deployed. It makes for a long summer so having the opportunity to take the kids to this surf camp was not only a treat for the kids but the moms as well. The instructors from Surf Diva were fabulous and I was stunned at the amount of goodies given out to the kids to take home (t-shirts, stickers, wax, sunblock, and a surfboard!) In these times it is easy for businesses to say no to such events so I was very happy Freedom Is Not Free was able to attain such great support. We are on our 5th deployment in 10 years and support for military families has waned these last couple years... it was such a nice surprise to see there are still people out there who have not forgotten the sacrifices of not only our service people, but the sacrifices of our children as well. The kids had such a fantastic time and my son has not stopped bugging me to get him back out to the beach here on base to get to surfing again... God knows, if he has to bug me about something, let it be surfing!

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Fill a great void military families have been facing. Support for families & service people has not been what it once was due to the economy. Children especially are affected since their parents have been on a heavy deployment rotation for over 8 years.

Ways to make it better...

I had know earlier of the program. This is through no fault of theirs, but the way communication is passed down within the military.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

This was a wonderful event for our two daughters, ages 10 and 12; they are the ones that see their daddy deploy and work long hours for our beloved country; this was a great opportunity for them to do something so fun and sooo Southern California! The idea that an organization is thinking of the children of military members is extraordinary; for in fact they are the ones that pick up their lives and move around the world too. I applaud this organization and can't thank you enough for the memory of a lifetime!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching my children enjoy surf camp.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

it was such a positive rewarding event for our children.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

kind, caring and thankful to do this for our children.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

make a lot of families happy!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Role: Client Served
Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

This was a wonderful opportunity for my son. The program was well organized and upbeat. My son cant wait fr his dad to return to show him how he can surf now. The camp was well worth the drive.

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

energetic, caring and fun.

Ways to make it better...

The children involved had the chance to discuss how they were similar in relation to the military.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

Rating: 5 stars  

10 people found this review helpful

FANTASTIC!!!! My children have participated in programs for the last three years and this year I was able to volunteer with Little Warriors Surf Camp. It was amazing to see all the children thrilled at the experience of surfing some may have never had this opportunity if it had not been provided. I look forward to volunteering for furture events and assisting fellow military families.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Children camps for the last three years my children have had great experiences and look forward to camps every year

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Write Grant proposals and get word out for more sponsored programs.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The best part is meeting new families and providing resourses and being a referral resourse to those who are out of the area.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Amazing a extremely resourceful.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

provide so many programs for military children. Being a military family has several challenges not only when spouse is deployed but for the remain behind parent trying to maintain a balance and somewhat normal life for the children.

Ways to make it better...

We had more time to participate my kids went back to school on the 12th:(

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Funding and advertising for events

One thing I'd also say is that...

Great work Mr Jay I had a great time and look forward to working with you on future events.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-8-01

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