I often share what happens within the Grindstone Award Foundation and the positive impact the charity has on the local and national female hockey community.
As the President of the Foundation I firmly believe in providing opportunities to young players and giving back to the community. But what does it mean to give back and why should we care?
A Bit About Grindstone
Grindstone was founded in 2015 when two women passionate about female hockey–Sash Podolchak and myself–saw young female players missing out on opportunities to play hockey due to financial hardships. The initial goal was to provide financial aid.
Since then, several other talented volunteers have joined the Foundation and we’ve held hockey events in Kelowna and across Canada. The biggest change we’ve seen is that we’ve set a larger goal to empower females in their life and sport pursuits.
This last point is where giving back to the community comes through in a big way and shows why you should care, too.
Everyone involved with Grindstone is a Changemaker. We’re volunteers of all walks of life who offer our skills and time to grow the charity and its impact. We inspire change for our grant recipients, their families, and the communities they live in.
But we are also members of the communities we live in and Changemakers of our own lives and the lives of those who might not be directly associated with hockey.
So, when someone supports Grindstone, be it a donation or their time, they not only improve the lives of young female hockey players, but they also help make every Changemaker a better person. And when the Changemakers get better and feel empowered to act, big things can happen.
More Than a Gang of Girls (And Some Guys)
Strong women make strong women. Empowered people empower other people.
When the Changemakers collaborate and build a strong and empowered group, we pass the good vibes out into the community. Positive changes comes from within and, once established, they’re contagious.
We improve our skills and learn new skills from eachother. Writing, videography, leadership, mentorship, entrepreneurship, marketing. The list goes on. We make an effort to pass these skills onto anyone who has a passion to learn. Our own friends and families, and other curious minds we encounter in our daily lives.
Through Grindstone we meet lifelong friends and become mentors to one another. We talk about strengths and weaknesses, and guide one another towards our dreams. Whether it’s owning a business or going to school across the country, we help each other build a strong foundation for our futures.
We make connections with business owners, college professors, aspiring artists, and many other people. Of course, with being the visionary or the main driving force behind a quickly moving organization brings other challenges. Some days, I struggle to keep up – have to work 4 times harder than anyone else sitting next to me, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. The impact and the legacy that will be left after I am gone will be something to be proud of for a long time.
We create opportunities to connect people that might have otherwise never met. These connections might lead to a job offer, an internship with a great business, or discovering a talent someone didn’t know they had.
We put introverts and extroverts in one room, and learn from one another to compliment and compromise with the various personalities. The desire to collaborate for a common goal despite our differences builds our listening, leadership, and other skills. Which brings us back to passing these skills on and together building a stronger community, one individual at a time.
This is Why You Should Care, Too
In the grand scheme of things, Grindstone is but a tiny speck. But it’s also one amazing and strong speck that brings a real change to the female hockey community. And by putting this positive change into the hockey community, the goodness gets also passed onto those indirectly associated with it.
Like I said, positive changes are contagious. One smile can bring about ten more smiles. One changed life can positively impact another life. So, if you have an opportunity to give back – do it, you won’t regret it.
And when the Changemakers get supported and encouraged, we can pass on this support to those around us.