The ethos of skateboarding has always been one of comradery. It’s more than landing a trick, skate jams, X Games, and the other novelties associated with the sport. Along with the aforementioned, charities are also an integral part of skateboard culture. The world of skateboarding offers much good in the form of charitable foundations. This list of foundations only scratches the surfaces of the many charities launched by pro skateboarders and skate culture enthusiasts.
Their mission as a non-profit organization as stated on their site is to “use skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and the potential for change.” Skateistan’s project sites include Kabul, Afghanistan, Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The sites’ provide skateboard oriented education programs that feature classrooms and a skatepark. Girls are primarily excluded in participating in traditional sports specifically in Afghanistan and Cambodia. So, this foundation paves the way for girls (s60% of the Skateistan students are female youths) to engage in skateboarding.
Amigo Skate Cuba
It’s so easy to take for granted that most of us have skateboard shops or the tools to create our own boards sprinkled throughout the cities we live in. There are countries, such as Cuba, that have difficulty in obtaining skateboards or the necessary supplies to even create a board. Despite these snags, Cuba’s skate scene has been around since the ‘80s thanks to the skateboards left behind by Russian soldiers. ASC is self-funded and 100% volunteer based. After collecting both new and refurbished skateboards, these are redistributed to children in need. Their main prerogative is “to provide kids with an outlet to express themselves.” What better a way to showcase your creativity than through skateboarding?
Let It Flow
Founded by pro skater, Nyjah Huston, and his mother, Kelle, LIF is inspired by Nyjah and Kelle’s own experience of living without clean, running water. LIF’s first well was built in an Ethiopian village, Debra Brehan. That well now provides safe, clean water to 900 people. The safe water in turn helps a community to thrive since more time is then allocated for children to attend school. Also, individuals can grow food and sell the extra food for profit to grow a sustainable community. So far, wells have been established in not only Ethiopia, but Kenya and Chad as well.
The A.skate Foundation
A.skate organizes autism friendly skateboard clinic environments to teach the basic skills of skateboarding to new and second-time participants. The beautiful thing about skateboarding is that it knows no boundaries and discriminates against no one. So, the establishment of A.skate aids in the skate culture movement by promoting autism awareness intertwined with that of skateboarding. Today approximately 1 in 68 children are diagnosed with autism, so ASF’s nationwide clinics, “Grants for Gear” for kids to purchase skateboard equipment, and the hosting of fundraisers helps society to embrace the aspects of autism that are challenging to understand while allowing these children a non-judgmental environment.
Income inequality is the major component of the “opportunity gap.” STOKED aims to break that barrier by inspiring struggling students to tap into their awesomeness and full potential by way of action sports – not limited to skateboarding. The STOKED program is very hands-on for youths in that mentors in NYC and LA – from marketing mavens to film directors – with a passion for action sports take teens on day trips outside the urban jungle to show them how to board.
Go Skateboarding Foundation
Every avid skateboarder knows the significance of June 21st every year. It’s the official – and global –holiday of skateboarding, Go Skateboarding Day. However, did you know there’s been a Go Skateboarding Foundation in action for over five years? Since 2005, GSF has provided educational programs, career building experiences, skate camp and college scholarships, along with the development of sustainable skateparks. By donating funds to this, you’re aiding in the growth of skateboarding and its positive impact on young skateboarders. Since its inception, thousands of dollars have been donated to the Tony Hawk Foundation and multiple scholarships to young skateboarders.