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By Paul Evans, 04/19/20, 9:00AM EDT


Hockey shows its heart

Long lines and short supplies found at food banks in Indianapolis and the US

Long lines and short supplies can be found at food banks in Indianapolis and across the US

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted virtually every facet of our lives, and hockey is no exception.  From the suspension of the NHL season to the cancelation of the USA Hockey National Championships to camps, clinics, and tryouts, hockey has gone into hibernation... much like the rest of us.

And while the game has turned to the virtual world through the Hockey At Home movement (more on that later), many of our hockey families are facing far greater problems than the loss of sport.  Unemployment has skyrocketed, food banks and hospitals are overwhelmed, and countless numbers of our friends and families struggle to survive let alone make ends meet.

Answering The Call

Bauer is one of many hockey companies shifting its efforts to providing PPE for front line medical providers

Yet for every negative side of this crisis, for every challenge it presents, there seems to be no shortage of folks willing and ready to lend a hand.  Companies like Bauer, CCM, and Brian's quickly switched over their production lines from hockey gear to personal protection equipment.  Athletes and teams launched campaigns with substantial contributions to help arena staff and other workers whose livelihood was impacted by the loss of games and other events.  And individuals and communities around the world are pitching in their own unique way, from making face masks to holding food drives.

Those of us for which hockey plays a significant role in our lives are not surprised by this outpouring of support.  We have long known that despite the intense competition on the ice, we are all family off the ice - especially when it comes to helping those in need.  The game is the bond that unites us.

Separate but together

Join the #HockeyCares Virtual Food Drive and help feed hungry Hoosier families

Although sound medical advice and common sense calls for us to stay inside and keep our distance from each other, technology and creativity can us keep connected and help us help each other through these difficult days.  In this light, we are using our platform as a means to support one another.

Backcheck Foundation and are hosting a Virtual Food Drive to help Gleaners Food Bank feed Hoosiers in need.  Every dollar donated can feed up to five people, and every dollar counts.  To join the #HockeyCares team, use this link and click either the "Donate" or "Join Team" button.

Whether through email, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, we want to hear from you.  Send us your stories and let's share all the great ways that hockey is showing its heart.  If you've got your own way of helping out, let's hear about it so others can join in or be inspired by your efforts.  Know a business or family in need?  Reach out so that others who may be in a position to help know how to.  And if you simply want to send a message of love and support, we can all use a little of that.

Stay safe.  Be well.  Love one another.