To ‘Pay It Forward,’ means different things to different people. It is generally accepted that this philanthropic concept is one that has truly come to prominence over the past few year, thanks to the movie of the same title. To witness a unified group of 13 year old hockey players, living and breathing life into this integral present-day belief system that society is just beginning to embrace and share, is truly awe-inspiring.
To the 2001 Toronto Marlboros, the concept of paying it forward is an important part of the team philosophy. Players have a good understanding of the sacrifices that are made to support their hockey-passion, and the ‘give-back, Toronto Marlboros style,’ to effectively ‘Pay It Forward,’ included collecting clothes, towels, personal grooming products, & more, and donating them to the annual Good Shepard Clothing Drive.
Yes, the players take great pleasure in giving back, but it is also very easy to witness the pride shown by parents, coaches and team support staff, as the players stepped outside the strict parameters of their school/hockey/personal lives, to step-up to the challenge of giving more, doing more, and donating more to people that they may never meet.
In addition to the wonderful efforts to donate as much as possible to the Good Shepard Clothing Drive, players and parents alike, went all-out, in collecting gently used hockey equipment for the annual charitable hockey equipment drive, designed to provide to those less fortunate, an opportunity to play the great game of hockey, without having to incur the often prohibitive cost of protective equipment.
Sometimes the price of a pair of elbow pads, or used hockey gloves is enough to prevent the parent of a young hockey enthusiast to allow their child to play. Having the foresight and awareness of the value of collecting and donating the gently used hockey equipment that the 2001 Toronto Marlboros donated, can positively make the difference to allow a young player to realize their dream of playing hockey.
The players and the families of the 2001 Toronto Marlboros recognize the significance of these important contributions and have all stepped up, very generously. Congratulations to all who went the extra-mile, to ‘Pay It Forward!’