I received a call a few years ago from Stu Middleton. We'd never met before, I didn't know about his family's business in town, but the call intrigued me nonetheless.
"We want the Hockey Community to come together to do something about the Humboldt Broncos tragedy" Stu told me. At the time it was just Stu and a couple of friends making phone calls to try and put something together.
The phone call to me was about getting a website up and running. He'd spoken to another Web Design agency, but had been quoted a pretty high price. Hockey Gives Blood was just a concept at the time and outlaying money on a website for a non-proven cause is risky.
Stu told me about the idea of Hockey Gives Blood, and I immediately loved it. I offered to do the site for free, and helped Stu get a logo as well.
I grew up in Melbourne, Australia - the home of Australian rules Football - or as we all call it "footy". Of the 18 teams in the National League, 10 of them are based in Melbourne. Just imagine if more than half of the NHL teams were all based in one city in North America - that's what we have in Melbourne. To say AFL is a religion in Melbourne is somewhat of an understatement.
Because of this background, I understand deeply the roots that Hockey has to Canadian communities and families. While I can't skate well, and only really watch Blazers games, I appreciate the community and the value it provides to families. When Stu called me I realised how much good his movement could do for Canadians, and I was willing to help.
I have played a very small role compared to the work that Stu and his other directors have put in, but when I see the news articles or add new teams to the website, I feel a sense of pride to be a small part of something that is doing something big for Canadians.
Since working with Hockey Gives Blood there have been some fun moments for me as a Web Designer. Helping sort out a video format so Dylan Playfair could share his video on Social Media. Converting files for players like Jordin Tootoo and Erik Gudbranson. It was also a small moment of pride to be at a Blazers game and see the Hockey Gives Blood logo as one of the sponsors.
If you want to see all the good things Hockey Gives Blood have done for Canadians, then please check out their website Hockey Gives Blood