On June 1st at the house of vans in Brooklyn there was an Askate event. This non-profit introduces kids with autism to skateboarding. The kid I paired up with grabbed the board immediately, and with my help rode. He needed a hand, and I trotted beside him. My expectations were wrong. I’m proud that I adapted to his ability. By the end I was able to let go of his hands for several seconds before stopping him. Also he rode down banks sitting on the board alone. I also ran beside down the bank ramps while he stood on the board. The father was appreciative, and the kid had fun. I learned a lot my first time teaching skating. For the second hour I observed others and talked to friends.
Here is Askate’s website, and I recommend skaters get involved when they go to nearby cities. http://askate.org/
I’m glad that there are non-profits in skateboarding, and here are some of my other favorites.
Skateistan is a skate school in Afganistan, and Cambodia. They teach kids, including street kids, how to skate. And they provide education in a country that doesn’t provide that for everyone. They have a documentary, a book out, and a large Internet presence. I think it’s a good platform that creative and ambitious non-profits can help troubled areas.
———Tony Hawk Foundation
Even though in the 1990’s some of us thought vert was dead, in 2014 Tony Hawk is the ambassador of skateboarding. The goal of his foundation is to get skate parks built in low-income areas. Last year he gave a great donation to Detroit’s Ride it Sculpture initiative.
Ryan Sheckler is only in his twenties and already gives back. They build skate parks and do other charity work. Recently his funding opened up a skate park on an Indian Reservation in Washington State.
——–Grind for Life
The non-profit, Grind for life, was started by cancer survivor, Mike Rogers. Their mission is to help fund medical bills for skateboarders who need urgent medical care. In this country medical bills are crazy for everyone, but serious skaters a lot of times do not have any medical coverage.
——-The Harold Hunter Foundation
Harold Hunter passed away in 2006, and many felt he represented New York City skating. This foundation helps urban skaters from low economic backgrounds in a variety of ways. One thing they do is each summer they pay for some promising young skaters from New York City to go to Woodward Skate Camp in Pennsylvania.
I’m happy to be a skater today. A lot of skaters do good things to promote and share the sport.