BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local antiviolence non-profit group is helping to equip 100 kids and teens in the Queen City with roller skates of their own.
W.A.V.E. (Women Against Violence Everywhere) is hosting a “Skates 4 Kids” drive. They’re collecting new and gently used skates for youths aged nine to 18 in their “Mentoring on Wheels” program.
“One thing we’ve realized instructing our young people is that they did not have their own skates, which makes it harder,” W.A.V.E. executive director Marilyn Young said. “We’re trying to get 100 pairs of skates for 100 youths, and trying to get them active.”
Skates can be dropped off at the following locations:
- Power 96.5, 143 Broadway Ave.
- Buffalo WAVE CUTTERZ, 1230 E Delavan Ave.
- Rainbow Rink, 101 Oliver St., North Tonawanda
You can also donate money toward the cause. W.A.V.E. Buffalo’s CashApp os $WAVEBuffalo, and checks can be made out to WAVE Buffalo, Inc. Call 716-848-0415 or email WAVEBUFFALO1@GMAIL.COM for more.
New starter skates for kids five to 13 can be purchased for around $35 to $50, and for teens 14 and up, they’re usually around $50 to $89.
Roller skating isn’t just a great way to get some exercise – it’s also a lot of fun, Young explained.
“It’s good for your heart health, good on your joints – it’s definitely a mood stimulator, something that just makes you happy,” she said. “It’s artistic expression – once you get it, you can get out there and express yourself artistically.”
W.A.V.E., their program Mentoring on Wheels, and the 716 Rollers are teaming up to offer free roller skating lessons to kids Saturday mornings starting at 11 a.m. at Canalside’s new roller skating rink.
“They can come meet us here and we’ll do it based on their skill level and work with them,” Young added.
W.A.V.E. was founded in 2012. They offer mentoring events, activities, and programs to young people in the City of Buffalo as a proactive approach to combating youth violence.
“With COVID-19, the kids were trapped in the house playing games, none of them were active.” Young added. “We were like “okay, let’s give them the group mentoring experience with life skills, careers, and get them physically active”- put those together and we have the perfect program.”
Kaley Lynch is a digital reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2016. See more of her work here.