Lopes all in on Salvation Army Christmas Angel program
By: Giovanni Hicks/GCU Staff
After delivering oversized bags of food to the St. Mary’s Food Bank for Thanksgiving, the Grand Canyon University Men’s Ice Hockey team continued their community service in the holiday season by buying Christmas gifts for children in need through the Salvation Army Christmas Angel gift program.
Separated into small groups of roughly eight players each to accommodate for social distancing guidelines, each group successfully helped local children and families who otherwise would not be able to give or receive presents this Christmas.
“I can’t imagine how hard it must be for the children who aren’t provided with much love or support during the holidays,” said Lopes’ sophomore forward Kory Potach. “It was really awesome to show kids in the community that there are people who care about them.”
The latest philanthropy followed a successful Thanksgiving canned food drive last month that produced over 100 pounds of food for families in need.
That still didn’t quite satisfy these athletes’ altruistic hearts.
“Coming together again to provide something special for someone else’s holiday is the least we can do as a team,” said Lopes’ sophomore defender Samuel Hernandez.
Hernandez’ group alone was able to provide full support for one 10-year-old girl. The group obtained several Christmas gifts for her, ranging from important school supplies to comfy fuzzy blankets.
“Optimism is hard to find for many these days,” Hernandez said. “Being able to provide a piece of that creates a sense of hope.”