A recent article here mentioned the benefits of getting junior hockey players and teams involved in schools as a way to get butts in seats and otherwise involved in the game. I’m going to get even more specific and give you ways to do that as well as other ways teams can get their community involved. Note that all of these activities are photo ops and great for promotion on social media accounts, and on the local news or radio stations or newspapers. They are also great for players by providing leadership opportunities and opportunities to show off other skills or talents they have.
- Players can read to students or have students read to them.
- Players can visit the physical education classes and play floor hockey with students.
- Players can help student with their homework
- Volunteer as crossing guards for a day
- Volunteer at the local food bank
- Organize their own fun run/walk or volunteer at one
- Bake or prepare treats or a meal for the local police, fire, and ambulance stations
- Write letters to deployed service members or send care packages
- Clean up a park, pond, river, lake, or other prominent areas in the community
- Host a charity car wash or dog wash in the rink parking lot
- Help out at the USA Hockey Try Hockey For Free Days
- Play board games or card games in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, read to the residents, teach computer skills, or host Bingo night
- Interact with kids at the local hospital
- Cook a meal for the local Ronald McDonald House
- Help out on a build with Habitat for Humanity
- Make birthday cards for nursing home residents
- Take care of cats and dogs at the local animal shelter
- Organize a winter clothing drive for the United Way or similar organization
- Adopt a local highway and clean it up
- Stuff envelopes for a local nonprofit
Organize a charity gift-wrapping event where players wrap gifts and the proceeds to charity
Connect with local service clubs like Lions, Kiwanis, Shriners, Rotary, etc. and help them with a service project
Create a team cookbook and donate the sales to charity. Have players, parents, team staff, and even fans all contribute recipes. The team could sell ads in the cookbook to cover printing costs.
Assign each player 2 tickets per game and require them to hand them out in the community. Players experience performing a random act of kindness, and they gain experience approaching people they don’t know and starting conversations.
Help coach the local youth teams
Create a public service announcement against drug and alcohol use
Organize a help seniors day where the players help local senior citizens with yard work like raking leaves or shoveling snow
Organize a blood drive with the help of the Red Cross
Be the clean up crew after a parade. The team could also be in the parade and clean up afterwards.
Bonus on ice or game time promotional ideas:
Back to school night asking for donations of school supplies
Organize a charity game against police, fire, or other first responders. Could have fans dress up as superheroes and run a costume contest, too.
Have one night in October be “Socktober” where fans bring in brand new socks to donate to the homeless shelter or local family crisis center
Toys for Tots night asking for donations of new unwrapped toys
Food drive for the local food bank
Ladies and Babies night asking for donations of feminine products and diapers for the local women’s shelter
Ugly Sweater night. Bonus for the players wearing special jerseys that could be auctioned off for charity. You could also offer ugly sweater jerseys as a pre-order for fans. You could have someone dress as Santa for pictures and to skate with fans after the game
Hawaiian Shirt night. Again, you could do special jerseys and have an auction
Youth hockey night
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