‘Skateboarding Businessman’ In Viral Video Gets A Dose Of Kindness From His Young Fans
Now that they know who he is, they're using the power of social media to help him get back on his feet.
Whenever a grown-up does something out of character, it can be fascinating to watch. It's like they have a hidden, superhero talent that they show off every once in a while to remind you that they're still young at heart.
That's why, when a video surfaced on social media of a 38-year-old man doing skateboarding tricks in front of a group of young skaters while wearing a suit, they made it their mission to find out who he was.
Viewers of the video became obsessed with finding out who the man in the video was. @beautifuldaddi
After the video was shared thousands of times, viewers found out that the man's name is Avery Baxter, and that he's from the San Francisco Bay Area. Baxter was on his way to surprise his adopted mother on Mother's Day when he decided to ask one of the kids if he could borrow his board to try out a new trick.
Turns out, Baxter (known by his fans as "Epic Streetplant Dad") has been skating his entire life, and along with teaching his kids to skate, he offers lessons to low-income children in the community.
While Baxter has the look of a successful businessman, his life has been filled with hardships. He was abused as a child and grew up in different foster homes. While spending time at a transitional home in Oakland, CA he became addicted to drugs and he was homeless for several years.
"With all that, I should be a monster," Baxter told Jenkem Magazine about his troubled past. "I should be mad at the world. But I don't know what it is. I enjoy seeing kids smile and just living their lives and being a kid, 'cause it goes by fast, in the blink of an eye. One day you're ten, then the next you're in your 20s with a whole lot of responsibility. So this [skateboarding] is like my outlet for my anxiety from all my issues that I've gone through. This is how I channel it."
Baxter has been skateboarding since he was a child. Now he teaches lessons to low-income children in his community. YouTube
Baxter says he was inspired to wear a suit every day by his adopted father, who told him that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. He says his dad, who passed away, was a good role model, and that he hopes to follow in his footsteps.
"I feel like this world judges you from the outside, so if I walk into a store with a hoodie on, the response I get… you already know," Baxter said. "If I walk in casually with a suit on, I get, 'Excuse me, sir. Can we help you with anything?' It's a whole different experience."
Now that his video has been shared among the skating community and beyond, one of Baxter's sons reached out to pass along his father's Cash App information to try and get his dad some help. A few of the skaters posted it on their Twitter pages and are encouraging their followers to "let this community legend know how much you appreciate him."
After Baxter's son sent his dad's Cash App, the skaters shared it around to help him get him some financial assistance. @floricets
What an amazing story of folks coming together to help someone they admire. If this act of kindness is any indication, the kids are, indeed, alright.