It’s the beginning of 2018, and the Pistons are getting back to playing hockey again after the Christmas break. But before leaving on that break, they made one final volunteer stop to help out some needing families.
Head Coach Paul Dyck and the rest of the Steinbach Pistons made their way to Southeast Helping Hands twice to help volunteers pack Christmas hampers as part of their Community Christmas Drive.
“They came in on the last day, which is our final push before the hampers go out,” said Roger Blatz, the food co-ordinator with Southeast Helping Hands. “They put in all the perishables. All the meat, milk, oranges, and cheese; anything that can spoil gets put in the day (the hampers) go out.”
Southeast Helping Hands is a non-profit organization that provides a service to Steinbach and 25 other communities in the southeast region of Manitoba. This annual event allows volunteers to pack different size hampers, and they deliver them to registered families who can’t afford to buy food or presents for the holiday season.
Blatz said that the team filled about 950 hampers over the course of their two visits. “It’s a great opportunity to reach out to the community,” he explained. “A lot of the team aren’t from around town. It just gives you a sense of belonging that’s more than just hockey.
There were around 500 volunteers that helped out by packing hampers this Christmas season, and Blatz was glad to have the team help out once again. “In my opinion, it’s quite a privilege to be able to serve your community. I think it’s important that people realize the need that is around them because most people don’t live a life in hockey. It’s great to be able to give back.”