It’s been just over a week that we’ve lived in a world where 2019 is no longer. We don’t have to worry about who the next famous person to die will be or if some crazed American will be elected President of the United States of America. We’ll all discover our own pitfalls and hardships this year, whether they be small or large. That said, there is the old adage of ‘there’s always someone worse off than you’. Keeping this in mind and remembering that people love to make resolutions that are unachievable or just plain stupid. But why not make a resolution that benefits other people.
I’m talking about charity work.
If I donated a pound/dollar/euro for every time I heard someone make a resolution about being more charitable, I’d be the most charitable person I know. If you’re hell bent on helping people out but you’re only interested in doing it through charities that are linked with the sports you love, then this list of action sports charities should help you complete your task.
Remember that as much as you can donate to these charities, the majority of them have a section on their website where you can get involved with the charity itself. Whether this is through promoting them, awareness of what they’re trying to do, or just to simply volunteer.
Coming into its 13 year anniversary, Skateistan is well known by everyone in the skateboarding industry. To quote their mission statement, they use “skateboarding as a tool for empowering youth, to create new opportunities and the potential for change.”
This organisation has grown in size and the amount of praise they receive vastly over the last decade and the help you can give them goes a long way. You can donate money or time. There are even job vacancies if you’d like to go the one step further.
Similarly to Skateistan, SkatePal is a non-profit organisation that helps the youth of Palestine.
The charity continues to build new skateparks, and makes regular trips to the area to develop the love of skateboarding and the involvement of the youth within the area. In an area where there are limited places for kids to go that aren’t dangerous, SkatePal offers a unique opportunity for children.
If it’s not people you want to save but the world we live in, then SAS is probably the surfing charity you should get stuck into (if you live in the UK anyway). They focus on protecting the environment with an eye on marine litter, climate change and coastal development – to name just a few.
There are plenty of ways to help SAS out in their cause (too many to mention), so if you’re at all interested in saving the environment, and the waves you surf, then please go and see what you can do for them.
As any surfer will know, we owe a great deal to the people, communities and waters we surf when we go on a trip. The impact that we have on these factors, both detrimental and positive, can be immense and so SurfAid focusses on ‘positive change’ within the communities they help.
However, they do not take any volunteers within their organisation but for good reason. They are aware that to create positive change within the environments they choose to help, the tough conditions they go into are a lot to take on board for even the most seasoned of travellers. SurfAid sums it up perfectly in this one sentence:
“We strongly believe our limited resources are better directed towards employing Indonesian staff and supporting village volunteers with local strategies and solutions.”
Well said, SurfAid.
Established back in 2003, Snow Camp is edging towards a well-deserved 15 year anniversary and is still helping out many, many people.
For those of you that don’t know, Snow Camp is an innovative youth charity that helps to support inner-city young people through skiing, snowboarding and life-skills programmes. They run programmes in London, Bristol, Scotland and the Midlands so if you’re in this area it’s a great charity to be part of or to help out.
Founded by snowboarding legend Jeremy Jones, Protect Our Winters runs along the same lines as Surfers Against Sewage – they push all winter enthusiasts to look after our climate and environment.
With several different and intricate (but also rewarding) ways to donate, help or you can try to be come part of the Riders Alliance. Definitely a winter charity worth taking a look at.
Even though this is a small list of notable action sports charities to help this year, and the coming years after, it’s worth noting that there are several, dozens and hundreds more charities out there that need your help. Make a difference this year and make a difference within your favourite sport or industry – it doesn’t have to be the sports industry. Be the best person you can be in 2017.
Feature image © SkateistanLast updated on Jan 10, 2020