I’m blessed to be able to play professional hockey for a living and with that privilege comes the responsibility to do as much as I can to make the world a better place. Throughout my life, my family has emphasized the responsibility we all have to try and impact our communities in a positive way and I’m fortunate enough to have plenty of resources around to me to give back to our beautiful city, province, and country in a number of ways.
When I entered the NHL, I knew I wanted to create a program to reach out to children who have lost a parent, given how personally that resonated with me. That is why our D-Partner Program was created. When I came to Calgary, the Flames Foundation immediately jumped in and offered to help Steph and I develop the program in the community and it has been running ever since my first game in the city.
While my wife and I were happy with keeping the D-Partner Program running, we wanted to do more and after discussing our ideas about potential initiatives with the Foundation staff, we focused on the Northern Project. I’m proud of my Metis heritage and wanted to work Indigenous youth, so we partnered with schools and youth programs in the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut to bring children and their families from remote locations to Calgary to experience the city and take in a Flames game as our guests. These families may not have the means to travel on their own so being a part of the Northern Project gives them a unique experience to see a different part of the world.
After my daughter Charlie was born, both Steph and I were opened to just how much money is needed to provide for a child. Knowing that there are many families out there going through rough patches, we wanted to implement a program to help single mothers with the costs of raising a newborn. The Women In Need Society and the Flames Foundation worked alongside us to create this program and our goal is to help hundreds of families this season.
For our family, being able to work on these community initiatives is one of the greatest honours. We are so blessed to live the life we do and to be able to work on a variety of programs. There is an old adage that there is no selfless good deed — when you do good for others, it impacts you positively on a number of levels. Every time we’re able to help someone, Steph and I get just as much — if not more — back from that experience. Our worldview has been expanded and our eyes have been opened to so much through these programs and we’ve both grown as people since we started them.
Moving forward, our family will continue with our programs and working with the Flames Foundation to ensure we’re giving back as much as we can to our city, province, and country. Our family doesn’t think we do enough — we want to do more. You can never do too much. Life is about helping people and that’s what we’ll continue to do.
If you’re looking to get involved in our community this season, the Calgary Herald Christmas Fund directs proceeds to 12 incredible charities in Calgary each year, ranging from the Samaritan Club of Calgary to the Distress Centre and the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, just to name a few. This annual fundraiser is a great way to put funds into local charities that are doing great work for our fellow citizens.
Travis Hamonic is a defenceman for the Calgary Flames.
To donate, call 403-235-7481 or go to https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/startup.aspx?eventid=273670
To read other Christmas Fund stories, go to calgaryherald.com/tag/calgary-herald-christmas-fund-2018
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