It was during a shopping trip in preparation for the arrival of his first child that really opened up Travis Hamonic’s eyes to the realities of being a parent.
“As we were going through purchasing a bunch of our baby items in the last eight to nine months, I hadn’t been exposed to how expensive things were,” Hamonic told The Morning News on 770 CHQR.
Knowing the hard times some Calgarians are going through, Hamonic and his wife, Stephanie, came to the same realization.
“My wife and I, after buying some stuff one day, jumped in the car and almost both simultaneously looked at each other and said, ‘We need to help. We need to try and make a difference in this aspect.’ Because, unfortunately, there are people who have fallen on hard times and aren’t as fortunate and maybe blessed as other people are.”
LISTEN: Travis Hamonic joins The Morning News to explain the origins of his third charity, ‘Charlie’s Children’
The Calgary Flames defenceman decided to start up a charity in his six-month-old daughter’s name — Charlie’s Children — with the Flames Foundation, to benefit the Women in Need Society (WINS).
“We’re trying to raise a bunch of money and donate a bunch of money to the Women in Need Society and they can help low-income families and single mothers to be able to purchase some of the larger items they would need to purchase so they can be better prepared for the birth of their first child.”
The St. Malo, Man., native credits his and his wife’s rural Manitoba roots with setting up the third charity they are involved with, including his D-Partner Program and The Northern Project.
“The driving force behind a lot of this is our faith. Both of us are people of deep faith. The way that I was raised I think I always knew you have to help. You have to help.
“At the end of the day, I don’t think enough of what I do is enough. I think there’s always more we can do. There’s always more hands you can reach and people you can help. We’re just trying to do our small part right now and try and make a difference to those people around us.”
Hamonic said he hopes his off-the-ice performance will make a lasting impression.
“I often joke that I’ll be the old fart one day done playing hockey and no one will really remember what I do on the ice — and that’s OK. I’m blessed to play this game and I take it extremely serious and I take my job seriously, and I’m very fortunate. But I do believe that we’re put on this Earth to help each other.”