Instead of taking to the ice on Thursday morning, the Stockton Heat took to the community as the entire roster traded their hockey sticks for hammers, helping out Habitat for Humanity. The team assisted by building fences for two properties in South Stockton that will help families with a need in the area.
“It is a great project with Habitat for Humanity and I learned a lot today,” Heat defenseman Rasmus Andersson said. “We love helping out in the community and to see the people it helps is great!”
Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County believes that everyone, everywhere, should have a healthy, affordable place to call home. More than building homes, Habitat for Humanity builds communities and opportunities for families to help themselves.
“Without the voluntary labor like the Stockton Heat provided today, we would not be able to accomplish our mission,” Director of Habitat for Humanity of San Joaquin County Mike Huber said. “The way we can keep costs low is through free, voluntary labor with groups like the Stockton Heat!”
For one on the Heat roster, building houses is nothing new. Heat forward Austin Carroll assists every summer in the building of a house for a low-income family in Mexico and has done so with his family for over 20 years.
“It’s a privilege for us to be able to give back to the less fortunate and people in need,” Carroll said. “It’s huge to get the guys together and bond over a special cause like Habitat for Humanity, and it brings the team together with some laughs and helps bond the team.”
With two games under their belts to start the 2017-18 season, the team was not only giving back to the community, but also building a report between teammates. Assisting Habitat for Humanity provided the kind of team building experience Heat Head Coach Ryan Huska was looking for while also giving his club an opportunity to give back.
“I think when you can find times when the guys can come together away from the rink, I think that’s valuable in general,” Coach Huska said. “When you can add in a great cause and make them a part of something special, it’s even better.”
The Stockton Heat return to the ice this Saturday at Stockton Arena for a 6:00 p.m. puck drop against the Grand Rapids Griffins.