Fresno man using used skateboards to give back to the community

Saturday, July 30, 2016
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Rodney Rodriguez is collecting used boards and donating them to kids who can't afford them.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Fresno man is giving back to his community one skateboard at a time. He's collecting used boards and donating them to kids who can't afford them.

When Rodney Rodriguez drops in at the skate park he draws a small crowd.

"I'm only here an hour, once a week."

At 44 he can still ride, but it's not just the tricks that catch attention-- it's also his passion for giving.

On the sideline was a boy who had lost his board and was riding a scooter to get by.

"I'm gonna give him a board right now," said Rodney.

As promised, Rodriguez came through. Making this his 18th donation to a kid in need.

"Enjoy the board, get off the scooter," Rodney told the boy.

The boards are used and likely would have ended up in the trash, but Rodney had an idea. Two months ago he decided to collect them from friends. They started stacking up in his home and from there, his non-profit, Fresno Board Rescue, was born.

"It's amazing, it's a feeling I can't replicate any other way," said Rodney.

Some of the decks have new paint jobs to serve another purpose. They'll be auctioned off to raise money for gear like helmets and pads.

"I think it's a lot more valuable this way," said Rodney.

Rodney's wife, Dawn, is one of the artists.

"I think he understands how important it is for kids who may be at risk to have an outlet."

Rodney really does.

"I was these kids because I rode really bad boards."

Rodney grew up in Calwa and skateboarding, he said, gave him direction.

"Skateboarding is a really self-driven thing. If you want it, you fight for it."

He's giving kids the same opportunity.

"If one kid loved what I did, it was worth it."

And that's more than enough to keep going. If you're interested in one of those painted boards Rodney will be auctioning them off on Saturday, July 30th at Gazebo Gardens. That runs from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and the bidding for each one, will start at $20.