The 35th Avenue Skate and Snow shop and the Federal Way Multi-Service Center make a good pair.
Last month, the local outdoor recreation business, owned by Dave Waite, donated nearly $1,500 to the Federal Way nonprofit MSC after donations were a requirement in order to be entered to purchase a highly sought-after pair of sneakers.
The store received only about 35 pairs of the Nike Concepts x Dunk High Pro SB “Turdunken” shoes, meaning the stakes were high to secure a purchase. So, the skate shop put an incentive on the purchase: each person had to donate at least $5 to the Multi-Service Center to be placed in the shoe purchase raffle.
In total, 174 people donated and raised nearly $1,500. Many people donated more than the $5 minimum, and some even donated $50 to $100, Waite said.
All of the donated funds will support MSC’s food bank and help get food out to those in need, said MSC’s Development Director Sarah McNiesh.
The Multi-Service Center is a nonprofit organization that offers people in South King County pathways out of poverty through support and resources in education, employment, housing, energy assistance, food and clothing.
“Our donation notifications were going off like crazy for 24 hours and several donors gave more than the required amount for entering the drawing,” she said. “We also received the most heartwarming messages from those donating, including one donor who thanked us for helping his family with food when he was young. The generosity and compassion of the Federal Way community never ceases to amaze us!”
In November, the MSC provided food to approximately 1,100 households per week. Each household is allowed to visit the food bank once per week, McNiesh said. Of those, the food bank saw 183 brand new households visit the food bank last month who had never previously visited.
Staying up-to-date on the news, Waite saw how shelters and food banks are in despair due to the increased need during the pandemic.
Through his own research and word-of-mouth, Waite selected the MSC because of their extensive programs and resources for Federal Way community members.
“It was kind of overwhelming when I looked at their website and saw all the things that they do,” he said. “I could tell they’re doing a lot of good out there and I want to support that in any way I can.”
The 35th Avenue Skate and Snow shop, located at 28717 Pacific Highway S. #5, is a small, historic business that has been in the Federal Way community since 1994.
Waite said the four-employee shop has been overwhelmingly busy through the past few months fulfilling online orders and accommodating curbside pickups as people have discovered a newfound love — and need — for an independent, outdoor hobby such as skateboarding.
Waite said he realizes his store is only successful because of the community, and he wanted to return the support.
“We’re definitely out here trying to do our best for the community,” Waite said. “Small businesses are important, and they create part of the fabric that helps keep the community alive.”
The skate shop hosted additional fundraisers, donating proceeds to various Tacoma organizations during Black Lives Matter rallies in the summertime, and turned their attention to the Federal Way-based organization to help their hometown.
“If you’re just a business, you have a bottom line … but in skateboarding, the community is vital to your survival. We’re part of the community too, so the way I look at it is: if we’re not trying to give back or do things to take care of our community, there’s not going to be anybody to support us at the end of the day.”
To explore or place an order with 35th Avenue Skate and Snow, visit 35thave.com. To learn more about the Multi-Service Center, visit mschelps.org.