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Community: Canes Care Summer Recap

by Kyle Arakelian / Carolina Hurricanes
The Carolina Hurricanes staff battled the heat and traveled around the community this summer to volunteer and help local organizations through our Canes Care program.

Kyle Arakelian

This initiative is designed to recognize the hard work of local non-profit organizations and to give back to the community. Canes Care is volunteer based and is a team effort with different Carolina Hurricanes employees volunteering at each event. Canes employees traveled to the following seven sites in June and July: East Durham Children’s Initiative, YMCA of the Triangle, House of Hope of NC, Miracle League of the Triangle, Autism Society of NC, Habitat for Humanity of Wake County and CORRAL Riding Academy.

The events were a success and here are a few highlights:

The mission of the East Durham Children’s Initiative (EDCI) is to create and deploy a comprehensive system of high-quality services for children and families living within a 120-block area of East Durham, North Carolina. This summer EDCI created a “Hunger Free Summer” food program to ensure kids have food to eat while school is out. It began in May and will continue until school begins in August. EDCI serves one hot meal a day during lunch, and the children get a take-home breakfast for the next morning designed to hold them over until the Initiative re-opens the following day. Hurricanes employees volunteered for a day to help paint signs and pass out food and drinks and were happily joined by Stormy to shake hands and entertain the kids.

Barker French. the chairman of EDCI, was in attendance during the Hurricanes visit and had the following to say: “Its just great to have you guys here helping out… It’s very important for the kids to see you (Canes) in the community.”

A long-time partner of the Carolina Hurricanes is the YMCA of the Triangle. The YMCA recently received a GOAL Grant of $150,000 ($50,000 a year for three years). The grant comes from the Kids ‘N Community Foundation to assist the on-going work of non-profit organizations that support health and education programs for underserved children.

I volunteered with Canes Care at one of the YMCA of the Triangle’s Camp High Hopes location. Camp High Hopes is a day camp for children from downtown and southeast Raleigh neighborhoods, and it offers character development activities, literacy instruction, sports, swim lessons and two meals a day. The camp is available to families at a discounted rate made possible through the “We Build People” campaign.

At Camp High Hopes, Hurricanes staff helped kids make finger paintings, outlined and colored life size drawings, read books and watched Stormy play street hockey. I learned a lot from the children that day and gained a new appreciation for how sincere, caring, interested and intelligent they are. Some of the children are only five or six years old and are already bilingual, speaking and reading both English and Spanish. I was also impressed at their listening skills and manners. The most satisfying part of the experience was to know we made a difference in their lives, for at least the day, by putting in time and effort to show we care.

“It shows we’re part of the community, and I think that’s important for the community and especially for the kids to see,” said Rob Douglas, the director of production for PNC Arena.

Click here to see a CanesVision recap of all of the summer Canes Care events.

It has been an exciting summer helping our community partners, and we can’t wait to see all of your smiling faces when hockey season starts!

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