Play it Forward

There comes a time in every young Jewish boy and girls life where they celebrate entering adulthood, known as a Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah respectively. It marks the moment they begin to take on adult responsibilities and focus on how they can make their community a better place. Often during celebrations the young man or woman takes on a Mitzvah Project, which is related to the celebrations but focuses on giving back to the community. Nathan and Zach, two Vancouver area bantam hockey players, decided to make HEROS part of their Mitzvah project, “hockey is such an important part of both these boys’ lives, we were looking for a charity that reflected their love for the game,” explained Nathan’s mom Jocelyn. When they discovered HEROS they instantly knew it was the right fit for their Mitzvah Project.

Wanting a theme around hockey the boys organized a floor hockey fundraiser which helped introduce people to HEROS and collected donations. The boys wanted to be active and creative with their project, “they wanted something else, something they could invite their friends to, encourage their friends to participate, create awareness so all these other people are now aware of HEROS,” explained Jocelyn. As a result the boys’ raised over $1000 in support of HEROS and introduced our program to their family and friends.

The boys felt a tremendous amount of pride knowing they were doing something to help others. Hockey is a significant part of their lives and allows them to build friendships, learn discipline and responsibility. It’s hard for them to imagine their lives without hockey and being able to help other kids have that experience really resonates with them, “nothing makes a parent prouder than your children being aware and taking care of their community and wanting to give back…helping other people perpetuate that generosity. I am very proud to see that my kids are taking on that responsibility.”

It is important youth have an outlet to make connections, explore the world around them, learn about themselves and create a sense of belonging. Nathan’s mom described it best, “what’smost important is the friendships and the mentorship, being surrounded by positive people who want to help you succeed. Children who have role models and people spending time with them in a constructive, positive way and time that children are spending exercising – these are all things that will make a successful young adult.

Nathan and Zack are great leaders and their creative generosity is an inspiration to us all, young and old. We are truly thankful for these young men’s contribution.

Mazel Tov Nathan and Zach! You’ll always have a spot at our HEROS family table.

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