In an age where social media is the platform where most stories break, it’s easy to keep up with what our favorite athletes are doing or how their teams are playing. It’s also easy to hear whenever they get into trouble. What you don’t see everyday, though, are the stories about the professional athletes taking their time to give back. That was a major incentive for Christian Marin to start the blog Pros Give Back.

“I’ve always grown up a sports fan but kind of looking at the stories that you don’t see every single day,” Marin said. “I’ve always been fond of the athletes that do take the time to give back and do something for the community. They didn’t get there by themselves and without the fans they wouldn’t be able to be out there making money playing a sport.”

When Christian Marin graduated from college with a degree in broadcast journalism, he found it incredibly difficult to find an internship in Toronto, much less a job. While he was working full time for a sports marketing company, he came up with the idea to start his own blog. It would allow him to continue writing and create a name for himself in the sports world. It has not always been easy, but the interviews come a lot easier than they once did.

“After about a year’s time we would get agents and team PR people contacting us and asking if we would be interested in doing stories on specific players,” Marin said. “It’s really starting to turn into what I was looking for it to be.”

While there are a lot of blogs and sites out there devoted to talking about sports, Pros Give Back has a distinct advantage. It is a unique idea that Marin has come up with, one he hopes that will help distinguish him. It is important to see that athletes take their free time or money to do charitable work.

“When I started the site, I also wanted to reach out to people that don’t follow sports and show them what’s going on,” Marin said of his goals. “From an outside perspective looking in you’re probably thinking these guys make millions of dollars to go out and play the game that they love but what do they give back?”

Another goal of Pros Give Back is to inspire people to go out and benefit the community as well. It has been proven that people will buy certain products that their favorite athletes endorse.

“If it works with any kind of brand that they wear, why not with a charity?” Marin asked. “They’re seeing that their favorite player donates to a charity and maybe they’ll do the exact same thing.”

Beyond that, Pros Give Back makes it easy to follow in the footsteps of your favorite athlete when it comes to supporting charities. “On our stories we’ll put a link to the foundation page,” Marin said. “They aren’t looking for big donations like the athletes make but even the smallest donation goes the furthest way. It helps someone elsewhere.”

When Pros Give Back first got its start, Christian Marin and a friend were running the site together. Now that he is running the site on his own, it’s harder for him to get to every story. It’s especially hard if a story comes out about an athlete that has already been featured or when so many athletes are contributing to one charity, as was the case with the recent tornados in Oklahoma City.

“If something really big happens and we already have a story out on that athlete, we tell the athlete’s story from a different angle,” Marin said. “With the tornados in OKC, all we really could do was retweet what all the athletes were doing because there was so much out there and it was all a similar message.”

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in submitting a story, Marin tries to make it easy to get involved. If you visit www.prosgiveback.com and go to the contact page, you can send in a story. Provided it meets requirements, Marin is happy to post it. His site is still a nonprofit and he cannot pay writers. But he is hoping that as his site continues to grow, he can take it to a much larger level. Be sure to check out the site, and “like” the page on Facebook here, and follow them on twitter here.

A New England girl, born and raised, Jessica Higham has grown up loving few things more than hockey. Although she has never considered herself to be a good skater, she fell in love with hockey back when boys still had cooties and that love has only grown since. She genuinely wishes she had been alive to enjoy ‘Miracle on Ice’ and considers it to be one of the greatest moments in US history. Nothing compares to the feeling of September coming and signaling the start of a new season, complete with a whole new set of ups and downs. After having been an avid reader and occasional writer, Jessica wanted to try putting the two loves together and writing about hockey. Aside from hockey, Jessica also loves music, going to concerts, animals, and walking on the beach. Email: jessica@thepinkpuck.com @JessicaHigham

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