LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (Dec. 6, 2021) -- They once were neighbors in downtown Lawrenceburg. United Way of Greater Cincinnati Southeast Indiana had an office at 227 Walnut St. Blacklist, a skateboard shop, was two doors away, at 231 Walnut.
The skateboard shop is still there, but United Way’s office moved to Greendale in November 2020. Before the move, Karen Snyder, the director of UWGC Southeast Indiana, and Joe Hughes, owner of Blacklist, sometimes chatted.
“We started talking about ways to help in the community,” Snyder says.
Blacklist is a retailer for Nike SB, also known as Nike Skateboarding, which occasionally releases limited-edition skateboarding sneakers “that everybody freaks out about,” Hughes says. “It’s the exclusivity of the shoe that makes it so desirable.”
Typically when a new Nike SB shoe is released, Blacklist receives only a couple dozen pairs. Rather than deal with the chaos of first-come, first-served, the shop began handing out raffle tickets and drawing names for the opportunity to buy a pair.
At least, that’s the way it worked until Hughes chatted with Snyder. After she told him about the Clearinghouse -- a United Way agency partner that operates food pantries in southeast Indiana – a different plan was hatched.
“This time of year, there’s a lot of people in need, and so if you want that raffle ticket, you have to bring in a couple of canned goods,” Hughes said.
Last December, customers brought at least 500 canned goods to Hughes’ shop. This fall, he collected more than 600. “We plan to do a couple more (raffles) before the end of the year,” said Hughes, who delivers the food to the Clearinghouse.
He added: “It’s that time of year; you gotta give back a little bit.”