People over profits is one of the reasons why Positive Charge was founded; to create a company which helps build and strengthen our communities.
Skateboarding is something which many of us begin when we are very young and which we continue to do well into our 30's, 40's and 50's, it is something which not only brings us great joy, but influences us a great deal as we grow. We have said from the beginning that we want Positive Charge to be a company which makes a lasting impact on those who ride our boards, and that means to take responsibility for the attitude and image we have as a company. Simply put, we want everyone to have fun, but we are not going to be one of these companies which sellout to the lowest common denominator, giving the wrong ideas of what is important to impressionable minds. Rather, we would like to help people to take a moment to realize what is truly significant in this world because if each one of us did what we could to make this world a better place, it would quickly become a much more wonderful place to live in.
This holiday season, Positive Charge, along with Tas Pappas, Jesse Martinez and Fabian Alomar, pledged to give a portion of the proceeds from all board sales to help the less fortunate...and, not only did we do that, but we went a step farther; we donated ALL PROFITS earned from the moment we announced our drive to raise money until now to a local organization which we considered would have the close ties to the local community and experience to make each penny count.
The decision was a tough one, we knew from the onset that a smaller organization which has spent years building a tight relationship with the very same people we want to help would be the best choice. Larger organizations can often become quite inefficient and what you donate, even if a large sum, may never actually all go to where you want it to. Essentially, we know that no matter who we work with, the group must meet a certain criteria; they must have "boots on the ground" and be a well respected member of the communities whom they strive to serve.
As most Americans know, New Orleans has a rich heritage, a culture which has become a cornerstone of the American experience as a whole. It is also a city which is no stranger to poverty, to tragedy or to struggle. JTRA, a non-profit 501-C-3 organization, was founded by Debra S. Jones in 1999 and for the past 16 years has won recognition for its outstanding and tireless work to care for their fellow human beings.
As a disabled mother of two, Debra is more than aware of how difficult it is to make ends meet, especially in communities where positive opportunities are often a challenge to find. Since the founding of JTRA, Debra and JTRA has served hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to those who often go hungry, literally thousands of meals a year! JTRA has ensured hundreds of families are thankful during thanksgiving with their turkey giveaways as well as given thousands of children smiles and hope with toy/bicycle drives during Christmas. The homeless, the working poor, the elderly, it doesn't matter who, but if a person is in need, they have a friend in Debra S. Jones and the hardworking people of JTRA.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated this area of the Gulf Coast, JTRA partnered with other highly respected groups such as NOAAHH (New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness) and United Way to aid thousands of families in need in both Louisiana and Mississippi.
We are incredibly proud to say that, along with hundreds of other people who have donated to JTRA, we are ensuring that there will be a bit more laughter and joy this holiday season.
We encourage you to not only seek out organizations within your own community who do similar work as JTRA, but also to show that you care by volunteering...the world needs you. To be hardcore means dedication...and that, in turn, means work.
Wishing every single one of you a very happy holiday season and prosperous new year!!
UPDATE JANUARY 2016: We received this card in the mail. We were kinda of worried about raising the money in time for Christmas, production of the board had been pushed back...but it seems we got the money there just in time! :)