Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Giving Back

Charity work is huge for me, you have the money, you have the ability, you have the fame,  do it!.  As I've mentioned before, usually, a huge part of picking a  "favourite player" for me is looking at their involvement in giving back to the community. While its not a written rule, it really melts my butter and burns my cheese when these people have the ability to make a change, make things better in the community, and don't put much effort into it. I understand not everyone can be Trevor Linden like, but every little bit helps. From Paul Bissonnette and his t-shirt line after a slight mix up with words on his twitter account, to the likes of other players saying when they reach a certain amount of followers they will donate money. It all helps, no matter how they do it.

I love seeing pictures, and stories on tv of the players visiting kids at Children's hospital, Canuck Place and other places like that. While it can be very heartbreaking it makes me very thankful to have two reasonably healthy children and puts a giant smile on my face. I love seeing the children smiling, happy to meet them.

I give you Dan "The Community Man" Hamhuis (props to PITB for the name)

  • When playing In Nashville, Hamhuis would visit patients at Nashville's Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital throughout the season, and would go reverse trick-or-treating dressed up as Winnie the Pooh in 2008 and 2009
  • This past off season, Hamhuis was back in B.C. when he received an email from the NHLPA asking if any players would be interested in going to Haiti as part of the Hockey For Haiti program. He was hesitant at first, being the father of 2 young children and knowing there was still many dangers in a place like Haiti. His wife convinced him, telling him it was a once in a life time trip and he had the ability to help people in need. "It's not your everyday trip," said Hamhuis. "This is living in the dirt with a tarp pulled over your head. It takes you out of your comfort zone. But this is a beautiful country too, with the scenery and stuff. But the people are obviously not in the same economic state."
  •  He and his wife,Sarah, were regular visitors at Ronald McDonald House and bought an air hockey table for the teen room.
  • Sarah  organized a potluck style dinner , and with the other wives on the team, provided dinner for the Families at Ronald McDonald House.
  •  He gave his name(and funds) to be the presenting sponsor of the Ronald McDonald House "Extraordinary Evening" fund raiser, which brought in more than $50,000.
  •  In 2009 he donated $20,000 to The Teammates For Kids Foundation, which benefits the Nashville Rescue Mission. He and Sarah also volunteered time to the Nashville Rescue Mission.
  • While in Nashville he purchased 25 gift cards of $100 each to give to families in need during the holidays.
  •  He spent some time around halloween at Canuck Place, with his oldest daughter, carving pumpkins with the children and their families. 
  • He recently spent time reading books and making crafts with young kids at Britannia School, Saying "I really enjoy this. Some of these kids don’t get the opportunity to read a lot of books so to be able to come here and spend some time with them and share some stories and have the chance to share a favourite from our house with these kids was special. It was great to see the smiles on their faces and they seemed very attentive and drawn to the books"

These are just a few of the stories I've been able to find on things that he has done, I know there is way more. If anyone reading this knows of more, please message me with a link to the story, I'd love to include it all.

My hats off to you Dan, you're a Small town boy, living the big dream, and doing larger then life things in your community. Like I said in my Trevor Linden post (found here), I wish there was more people around like you guys.

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