(WYTV) – For this week’s Hometown Hero, skateboarding is more than just a lifestyle, it is also a way to give back to those less fortunate.
Justin Arroyo started his organization in 2020.
“I started Wheels for the People during the shutdown, the pandemic shutdown,” he said.
Wheels for the People is his way of giving back to the community he loves.
Arroyo refurbishes old and assembles new skateboards. He then turns around and gives them away to people who may never have the opportunity to experience a hobby that has brought him so much joy — all free of charge.
“It is for kids in need. Kids and families that couldn’t normally afford these things,” Arroyo said.
His efforts go beyond just assembling a board. He also customizes them.
“I ask them what their favorite colors are and try to personalize each one to the kid because nobody wants to have the same stuff as everyone else. You want it to look ‘you,'” Arroyo said.
Some materials he uses he purchases himself, some are donated.
“The skateboard community is really giving. We don’t throw anything away so you might have some ‘trucks’ that have a little life in them still. So I’ll take them and I’ll take the wheels and put new bearings in them and they might not be the best but for someone who doesn’t have anything, it’s still good,” Arroyo said.
Arroyo says skateboarding is one of his passions. He started as a kid in middle school. He hopes sharing these boards can help others find that passion and inspire them to give back.
“Skateboarding is all about individuality and that’s what I’m all about, and doing it yourself and having fun and giving back. Maybe these kids will remember this when they’re older and do something similar,” Arroyo said.