Canucks and Beyond

Where the Money Goes

01/15/2008 at 3:38pm EST

The sport of hockey always seems to be involved in some charitable cause or another. On a league-wide level, for instance, Hockey Fights Cancer is an NHL and NHLPA project which has raised around $7 million to support related projects. And on a community level, most (if not all) teams go to bat for various causes in their community. (*such as Canuck Place, being a well known one in Vancouver)

But while these causes collect money to help people, we seldom—unless we personally benefit from those charities—actually see where the money ends up. So here’s one small-scale example of how, when you throw a buck or some of your time towards your favorite hockey-related charitable cause, you are making a difference.

On Toronto’s City News the other day was a story of some volunteers, and it showed what happened to some of the money that was raised by the annual tournament Hockey for the Homeless, held last fall:

A group of Torontonians with big hearts are helping some of the city’s neediest stay warm on the streets.

The tireless group is trying to make it a little easier for the city’s homeless by dolling out backpacks filled with a few items many people take for granted, ones that make a big difference for someone sleeping on the sidewalk.

Inside each is a brush, some soap and a clean towel, among other things. The group has put together 1,500 winter survival kits that will be given to homeless next week.

[You can see a video at the same link.]

Those kits are just one project entirely financed by Hockey for the Homeless, a tournament held each year with former Leafs players and other NHLers, joined by some other weekend warriors with a hockey stick, and all competing for a trophy. (Part of the 2007 roster can be found here).

They seem to have a good time (you can checkout a video here and you’ll see some ex-players not listed on the roster noted above), but more importantly, after 11 years this group has managed to bring $1.375 million to about 10,000 homeless men, women and children in the GTA.

As a result of their efforts, this week there are 1,500 kits being handed out to people living on the streets of Toronto.

A very tangible way that hockey and its fans have succeeded in a making a significant difference to people in desperate circumstances.


*Go here to see a listing of other good works done by Hockey for the Homeless.

** I’d love to point to a master list of all hockey-related charities, but I’m not sure there is one. But every team in the NHL (and probably the AHL) is involved in such projects to one degree or another. Be sure to check them out.

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