An undeniable future Hockey Hall of Fame inductee, Henrik Lundqvist is known for his on-ice talent and highly decorated playing resume. As revered as he is as an athlete though, many have long since known Lundqvist for his philanthropic efforts too.
Since 2009, he has served as the spokesperson for Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation, an organization committed to positively impacting the lives of children facing extraordinary challenges. He credits his work with the organization for inspiring the creation of his own foundation in 2014.
Founded by the longtime New York Rangers goalie and his wife Therese, the Henrik Lundqvist Foundation (HLF) serves not only the New York City community but also families and organizations in Sweden and the Dominican Republic. A multifaceted, international philanthropic initiative with an unrestricted mission statement, the foundation seeks to contribute and create change wherever there is a need.
HLF partners with local and international community organizations, including NewYork-Presbyterian Children’s Hospitals, Ronald McDonald Barnfond in Sweden and Together for Better, a charity founded by a Swedish journalist to help support children in the Dominican Republic.
“I think when you are young, you focus on your career and what your next step will be. Then you spread your views a little to see what you can do with your role as an athlete to do good.” Lundqvist states. His efforts are far from futile — in just the first two years of the foundation, HLF donated $270,000 to those in need.
Lundqvist is especially proud of his Young Ambassadors Program and its success in helping young philanthropists make a difference in their own communities. Henrik and Therese developed the program with a strong belief that young people can make an immense impact on the world. “You begin to realize how you can make a difference in connecting people and try to inspire them to do good things,” Lundqvist says.
Last year’s Young Ambassadors graduating class raised over $22,000 to support HLF, its local and international partners, and other organizations with similar values. The cohort also completed 534 hours of community service and collected thousands of books, toys, clothes and food products for families in need.
The foundation provided assistance after the tragic Humboldt Broncos crash in April of this year as well, donating $12,000 to the junior ‘A’ hockey club. Fans of the Florida Panthers initially raised the money to give to HLF, in hopes of motivating the Rangers to beat the Flyers to ensure a Panthers playoff spot. However, instead of holding onto the funds, HLF announced the entirety of the $12,000 would go to support families of those affected by the Humboldt crash.
Lundqvist is never one to miss an opportunity to bring a smile to someone facing hardships. In honor of the NHL Hockey Fights Cancer initiative in November, Lundqvist surprised three-time cancer survivor, longtime Ranger fan and young hockey player Connor McMahon during a segment of “Good Morning America.” Arriving with a couple of signed Rangers jerseys, Lundqvist invited Connor to be an honored guest at an upcoming game, promising a tour of the locker room and a chance to meet the entire team.
Henrik Lundqvist serves as an exemplary ambassador for professional hockey players across the NHL, passionate about using his platform to give back to his extended community and help others do the same.