The San Jose Sharks of the NHL recently wrapped up their Season of Giving, an annual holiday initiative where the team dedicates the month of December to providing food, shelter and clothing to those in need.
Getting a jumpstart on their efforts, the Sharks Foundation and their Young Professionals Board (YPB) held a food packing event on November 19 at the Second Harvest Food Bank's San Jose warehouse. During the event, they packed 5,520 pounds of canned food, supporting over 330 families in need.
In early December, the Sharks Foundation and YPB paired up again to hold a toy drive prior to the Sharks game against the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sharks encouraged fans to bring new toys to donate at the game, with all donations benefiting the Good Tidings Foundation’s Winter Wonderland Event.
The pre-game drive collected ten barrels of new toys, and in turn helped an estimated 200 local children feel the joy of the holidays. At the Winter Wonderland event, the Good Tidings Foundation invited children from local low-income families to receive gifts at its warehouse, which was seasonally decked out as Santa’s Workshop.
Sharks players, coaches and staff also joined in to support the Sharks Foundation and Healthy Start Family Resource Center in hosting the foundation’s annual Holiday Assist party. Held on December 11, the event invited 26 families in need to participate in a holiday evening of ice skating, cookie decorating and face-painting, as well as a healthy, hearty meal. ANA-All Nippon Airways, a Sharks partner, also gifted each family with $100 to a store of their choosing, while players and members of the Sharks organization surprised families with gifts from their respective Christmas lists.
As if the holidays weren’t already stressful enough for some families, the disastrous Camp Fire in Northern California only made things worse this past November and December. Dedicated to helping communities affected by the fire, the Sharks Foundation donated two nights of their gameday 50/50 raffle proceeds to the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross, totaling $25,400, including a match from Sharks ownership. Additionally, the team donated a portion of skating fees from each of its public ice facilities to the California Fire Foundation.
The Sharks Foundation then paired with the Lady Sharks on December 20 to continue its Season of Giving. Made up of player wives and girlfriends, the Lady Sharks helped host a pre-game fundraiser to support the Holidays for Paradise distribution event. Supported by another donation match from Sharks owners, the Sharks Foundation used the $28,000 in donated funds to buy Amazon gift cards for 1,400 students from Paradise High School, with the intention of aiding in the replacement of school supplies and treasured items lost in the fire.
An organization consistently committed to giving back to the communities around them, the San Jose Sharks concluded yet another successful Season of Giving this past December. Stay tuned for news on their support for first responders and local nonprofits as they wrap up their January Heroes Appreciation Month!