Just after our newspaper deadline today, a team of nine and ten-year-old Atom B Silverback hockey players were at the Mall at Piccadilly, outside Canadian Tire and inside the mall, ringing the bells to encourage donations to the Salvation Army in support of their food drive and other programs to help the homeless in our community.
The team had heard the number of volunteers was way down for the kettle drive, and they decided this was something they could do to try and help the less fortunate in our community.
It was a two-hour shift, but it was a way for them to offer their time towards a good cause.
The team also issued a challenge to other teams in town, asking them to follow their lead and step up to the kettles. The thinking is that there are a number of teams of young people in many sports who might be able to lend a hand.
And, as one parent pointed out, it is an opportunity for the young people in this community to learn a little bit more about the real spirit of the holidays – that the focus should be on the giving and generosity, rather than the commercialized, buy-more culture that has become increasingly prevalent around the Christmas season.
It would be amazing to see this idea grow among players, coaches and parents. There’s still time for more kettle volunteers to join up this year, and if not, maybe the seed can be planted for the next Christmas season.