"Nothing is really hard."
Henry Schwartz, 16, of Menomonie, Wisconsin, has owned his own skate shop since May 2004. However, he already understands that good business means giving back to his community, in terms of donating merchandise or money to help build skate parks in nearby towns.
What kind of philanthropic or volunteer work did/do you do?
Henry: I own a small skate board shop in Menomonie, Wisconsin. My main goal for my business is to promote skating. Whenever I get the chance, like at our skate park grand opening, or when another town needs money so they can build their own skate park, I help out by giving away stuff from my shop, or making a donation.
What is the name and location of the organization?
Henry: Board to Death Skate Shop, 616 Third Street East, Menomonie, WI.
Tell us about the project, especially who benefited from this work.
Henry: All the skaters in my town benefit from my shop. I often make deals with little kids so they can get the things they really want or need, but maybe don't have enough money for.
What inspired you to get involved?
Henry: I always thought it would be cool to own a skate shop.
How did you first get involved? Give us some details.
Henry: My mom heard of the skate shop for sale in March 2004. I bought it and started running it by myself on May 1, 2004.
What is/was the best thing about your experience?
Henry: It's fun to see my merchandise being used around town.
What is/was the hardest part?
Henry: Nothing is really hard.
What was the biggest surprise?
Henry: That running a business is so easy.
What new things have you learned as a result of your experience and how have you changed as a result?
Henry: There are lots of things about business that I never had thought about before, like when I wanted to put a sign up on the outside of my business, I had to talk to the Chamber of Commerce to get permission, and I had to follow their guidelines because Menomonie is a historic district.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of getting involved in philanthropy or volunteering?
Henry: Do it, it's a great feeling.
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