The Colorado Springs skate community that frequents Memorial Skate Park is one of the many subcultures in this city. It is filled with individuals who have skated for most of their lives, but for one person, skating is not the only important thing this season.
Springs native Devin “Quaz” Brown is no stranger to struggle. However, his experiences have ignited a passion within him to give back to his local community and help others.
After beginning a community service effort called “Wishes into Missions” that organizes group service projects in the Memorial Park area and partners with the skate community, he decided that a coat drive would be beneficial during this time of the year.
Brown was the manager at the local skate shop, House of Skate, right across the street from Memorial skate park. This has allowed him to stay in touch with his community and see who needs the most help.
“I want to give back to my community that raised me when I grew up in the inner city,” Brown said. After experiencing what it was like to not have many resources growing up, Brown has made it his calling to help other people not feel that way.
“I learned to adapt to the people around me to survive in a way, because I just didn’t have much growing up,” Brown said. The people within the skate community care for one another deeply, and “Wishes into Missions” is Brown’s way of giving back.
The coat drive, “Kickflip for Coats,” partnered with House of Skate and took place on Nov. 20, allowing those who participated to win a $50 cash prize. Anyone who participated, watched or heard of the event was able to donate coats for homeless youths. Since the coat drive began, people have donated approximately 300 jackets to the cause.
“I did this coat drive, because it gets cold in Colorado in the winter, and hypothermia is the cause of at least 1,500 deaths a year in the U.S. The kids at the skate park are in just a T-shirt, and so I wanted to get them all jackets,” Brown said.
The skate community helped make this effort possible by supporting Brown’s community service endeavor. Because they all had gone through so much together, it just made sense to support a cause that was giving back to the same community that supported them at one point or another.
“The people around me are the people that struggled with me, and that’s why I started this non-profit to even begin with, because I got tired of seeing the way people around me have to struggle to survive,” Brown said. “The Colorado Springs skate community is a band of brothers and we have been through shit together. We have lost brothers to shootings and drugs, and we have stayed together through all of the pain.”
For more information on the next service project, or even if you want to learn how to skate, follow @wishesintomissions on Instagram.