Canada was and still is effected by what happened about three weeks ago when the Humboldt Broncos team bus was involved a collision with a semi that saw the loss of 16 lives. As a small community mourned the loss of those they had brought into their homes and their hearts, the hockey community across the globe looked for ways to help in a situation in which few could truly do anything.
We, as Canadians, stick together in the eye of tragedy. It was not surprising that fundraising efforts began immediately, raising money for the fallen and helping those who survived the horrible tragedy. Even now Canadians across the country are still feeling the aftershock, and still saddened. One doesn’t have to play hockey though to be affected by this tragedy and feel a sense of loss and grief. We understand the loss of these young lives and of all the futures that will now never be. We try to understand the emptiness the families, the town and the billet families are struggling with. And we try to make sense of out of it all; perhaps grasping at the fact that the team was on their way to play the game they love, a game they never got to play, as a solace.
Fundraising efforts, such as Funds for Humboldt Broncos that set their goal at $4 million dollars and saw people generously donate more than $15 million in 22 days. Other GoFundMe pages were created for specific families who lost loved ones. Many NHL teams used their 50/50 Raffles to raise and send funds to help Humboldt as well.
One campaign that allowed many to show their solidarity was the #SticksOutforHumboldt which saw so many people all over the world putting hockey sticks on their porches in case one of the players up in heaven was in need of a twig to keep on playing. Even Canadian soldiers serving in Iraq made sure their sticks were available.
— CAF Operations (@CFOperations) April 10, 2018
This campaign was something that everyone could do, from the smallest mite to the oldest senior and everyone in between, male and female. It is not surprising that it quickly went global and offered a way to show Humboldt how deeply the world wanted to help support them in their most trying of times.
Campaigns such as this and the Go Fund Me help the families with everything from arranging funerals for those who were lost and also offers funds for therapy and rehab for the ones who survived. Those funds are going a long way, and also coming from all over the world. There have been tributes coming from not only the hockey world, but also NASCAR, NBA, and the MLB to mention a few. There was even one tribute from a team in Sweden, showing how small the hockey community truly is.
This was and still is a tragedy which continues to touch so many as people struggle to pick up the pieces and keep moving forward. I would only like to say this – stay strong Humboldt you and the team will rise again.
And as Humboldt continued to grapple with their tragedy, Toronto was rocked on April 23rd when the van attack saw ten people killed and others injured. It was the next day that cartoonist Michael de Adder showed the world the love and support that comes from hockey communities. His cartoon seems a most fitting way to end this.