January 10, 2019 6:00 am

Hockey analyst wants men’s help to create cards for anti-domestic violence campaign

A campaign is underway to create Valentine's Day cards for victims of domestic abuse across North America.

Valentines For Broken Hearts / Facebook
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Murat Ates is best-known as an expert on the Winnipeg Jets, but he’s switching his focus this weekend from the on-ice action to construction paper and crayons.

Ates, a writer for subscription-based sports website The Athletic, will be headed down to the Good Will Social Club this Saturday afternoon to make Valentine’s cards for a good cause – and he’s encouraging other Winnipeg men to join him.

READ MORE: Resources to help with domestic violence available for Manitobans

“Since 2015, a really good friend of mine from Winnipeg named Meg Crane has coordinated this event that sends handmade valentines to women’s shelters, to adults and children in those shelters all across Canada and North America,” he said.

“It’s a massive project. It rakes thousands of cards, and it’s really the simplest act of kindness I’ve ever come across.”

Murat Ates

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Ates says he’s just a tiny part of what has become a massive project, but his role with Valentines For Broken Hearts is to get men involved in the volunteer card creation.

“First of all, in these craft situations, I’ve always felt a little bit awkward about my construction paper and marker skills,” Ates told 680 CJOB Wednesday.

READ MORE: At least 148 women were killed in Canada last year. How do we keep them safer?

“In a more serious way, men are disproportionately the perpetrators of domestic violence, so I think it’s a meaningful step for folks in Winnipeg to get involved in.

“When was the last time most grown men sat down with construction paper and made these types of things?”

Ates said the men who volunteer for this project each year have different motivations – some have personal experience with friends or family members who have experienced domestic violence, and some just have compassion and want to help – but there’s no bad reason to volunteer.

“It can be quite light or it can be quite heavy as well,” he said. “Everybody has a different connection to domestic violence.

READ MORE: What are the myths surrounding family violence?

“It’s a lot of genuinely good folks there who want to do a good thing.”

The men’s card-making event takes place Saturday from 2-5 p.m. at the Good Will, but Ates said it’s not the only way to get involved.

A Facebook page for Valentines For Broken Hearts outlines the different ways people can participate, and provides info on some of the craft-making materials the campaign needs.

WATCH: Domestic Violence Awareness: Breaking the cycle

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