Shred Betties did a great interview on our organization earlier this fall.
SB: Tell us a little about your organization.
SL: Shred Love is a non-profit organization that offers free learn-to-ride lessons to the inner city youth of Jersey City and Bayonne, New Jersey. We offer transportation, gear (snow pants, goggles, hats, gloves, and face masks), food, and lessons and rental equipment via a participating mountain. Our goal is to remove the financial hurdle from snowboarding and make it available to everyone.
SB: What inspired you to start Shred Love?
SL: I was always interested in trying new things but quickly realized the experiences were so much better shared with others. To get my family to try snowboarding, I planned a weekend trip to Blue Mountain, Palmerton, Pennsylvania and the turn out was great. There were 20 of us; 13 kids and 7 adults. Everyone had a really good time and would have loved to go more often but cost continued to be an issue. When my kids returned to school and told their friends, their friends’ parents asked when was the next trip but they too became discouraged when I told them how much things would cost. To see so many people turned off from snowboarding because of the cost bothered me. I truly feel money should not prevent you from doing or trying something. So I decided to do something, find a way to remove all of the barriers and make snowboarding available to all, regardless of income.
SB: Is this a solo project, or a group effort?
SL: Shred Love initially started as a solo project. However, as the wheels started rolling, my friends and family has been very supportive by offering their time, words of encouragement and donations. So I would say at this point, its a group effort, all of our volunteers are just as committed as I am.
SB: How can people get involved?
SL: People can get involved by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re still a very young organization and could use a lot of help. We definitely need the usual staples: snow pants, gloves, goggles, face masks, and hats. Even if you’re not a snowboarder, or never been snowboarding, there are still ways you can help. We need help developing our website, chaperons, donations of food, snowboard equipment and money. So if you have any snowboard equipment or gear that you’re not going to use, please donate it to us, so that it can be passed on to someone that will.
SB: How did you get started snowboarding?
SL: For my 8th grade field trip, my class went skiing and a snowboarder helped me up from a nasty fall. Since I had never seen a snowboard before, I asked him what it was and if I would be able to do it. He jokingly said if I couldn’t stand up on skis while holding on to my poles, I wouldn’t be able to ride a snowboard. Once I was back up on my feet, he told me to get a board and give it a try. So I did, 18 years later! Ever since then, I’ve been hooked.
SB: Which resorts are involved?
SL: We are currently targeting Mountain Creek, Blue Mountain, Camelback Mountain; resorts that are close to Jersey City and Bayonne. At this point, we are looking for a home mountain for Shred Love.
SB: Do you plan to expand your programs in the years to come?
SL: Yes! In the future, we plan to expand the program to cover more winter sports and activities, such as skiing, tubing, snow shoeing, ice skating, etc. In addition, we want to include more cities, and states if possible, so that more people get to experience and love winter as all snowboarders do.
I would also like to expand the program to have year round activities; swimming, rollerblading, camping, skateboarding, surfing, art, etc. The goal is to deter youth from crime and other pitfalls of life.
SB: Anything else you’d like to share?
SL: Shred Love is really about exposure. Exposing people to new things, empowering others to live life out loud, and acknowledging our obligation to our community.