Hey there! It’s been a while since we’ve spoken. How have you been? Good, I’d hope. Anyway, have a seat; we’d like to have a little chat with you.
When we embarked on our “maiden voyage” back in 2010, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Our ambitions were modest; we wanted to get a feel for our great nation, meet new people, and most importantly, we wanted to help those in need along the way. The goal seemed ambitious at the time; an eleven-day trip with 2000 pounds of food raised for food banks across Canada. What happened next shattered expectations. We tripled our expectation, and received an overwhelming message from our new friends: come back, and we’ll help you make it bigger.
Did they ever. We went coast to coast the next summer and turned 6000 pounds raised into 43,000. The year after that, we tripled our luck, and the year after that, we raised over 300,000 pounds of food. By 2014, we crossed the million pound mark all-time. An expectation beyond our wildest dreams, to say the least. The momentum continued into next year, as we set new benchmarks in nearly all of our regular cities.
So with that said, the next statement might come as a bit of a surprise; we’re moving on to new adventures.
Over the past couple of years, the whole team has been thinking about how we can make this bigger; not by numbers, but by impact. Ultimately, we came to a realization. While it means the world to us to be able to help alleviate the struggles in the lives of impoverished Canadians, we’re providing a band-aid to a more systematic issue. Now, we’ve got our sights set on shaking up the system.
There’s been a growing emphasis on using sports as a vehicle for social development. We’ve made some steps in that direction recently; supporting initiatives that use hockey to further youth education, curb substance abuse and create community leaders. The efforts have taken many of us across North America and throughout the world.
Professional hockey has undergone many changes in both its rules and its philosophy over the past few years. For example, research and development is leading the community to believe that teams that are already ahead are more likely to win if they continue pressing to score rather than sitting back and trying to prevent from being scored on. When you defend, you let the problems come to you.
In a sense, that’s the shift that we’re taking as a group. Thanks to your support, we’ve found great success in providing a line of defence for those who have needed our extra helping hand. Hopefully, the importance of helping out valuable support systems like our local food banks isn’t forgotten.
But it’s time for us to take advantage of our lead and go on the offensive. There are opportunities for us to tackle the issues in communities in Canada and across the world that lead to the situations of need that we’ve been trying to alleviate. We have opportunities to put generations of “underdogs” into positions where they can succeed.
We feel that it’s our responsibility to take those opportunities. Be it in the Himalayas, Patagonia, the Arctic Circle, or the inner cities, there are so many places where we can bring the positive change to a way of life through the game that we love.
Where does that leave you? Well, we’re hoping that you’ll join us for the next step. There’s no doubt that we’re going to miss the journies that we’ve taken, and the stories that have come with them. We’re going to miss having the same friends come out to support us for the same stretches every summer. But know that we’re not finished. We’re just getting started.
From the whole Five Hole For Food team, thank you for all the support to date, and we hope you’ll join us on this new journey!