Below is a list of hockey or skating charities, programs and organizations for children. Skate To Great is affiliated with some but not all of these organizations, though we admire the work of all of them. Skate To Great aims to support organizations like these with the skates, helmets and sticks we collect. If you know of an organization that should be listed here, please contact us. Together, we can provide every child with the opportunity to skate!

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    Sport Central

    Sport Central Services helps kids where a need exists. Edmonton area is the first priority, but many other communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, BC, Quebec, the Territories and even overseas receive help. Sport Central distributes all kinds of sport equipment to kids in need, including, skates, bicycles, soccer balls, softballs, rollerblades, racquets, snow sliders and many other types of gear. In addition, Sport Central plays a key role in promoting safety in sport.

    Sport Central’s Website

    Reach: National with primary focus in Alberta & British Columbia

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    Courage Canada

    Courage Canada Hockey for the Blind is a national registered charity that leads the development of Blind Hockey. They provide children and youth with the opportunity to learn to skate and play Blind Hockey.

    Courage Canada’s Website

    Reach: National

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    HEROS Hockey

    The Hockey Education Reaching Out Society (HEROS) is a registered Canadian charitable organization committed to empowering children through ice hockey.

    The premise of HEROS is to use hockey as a catalyst in attracting youth to a program offering support for education self-esteem building and life skills training.

    The program focuses on boys and girls of diverse ethnicity from economically challenged neighbourhoods. The program will be conducted in an environment of fun and safety where each child is considered a HERO.

    HEROS Hockey Website

    Reach: Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal

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    KidSport Canada is a national not-for-profit organization that provides financial assistance to kids aged 18 and under. Through a confidential application process, registration fees and equipment costs are covered allowing children to play a season of the sports they love.

    KidSport Canada’s Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    P.R.O. Kids

    P.R.O. Kids is a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping economically disadvantaged children and youth access community recreation activities. Since its establishment in 1998, P.R.O. Kids has made nearly 14,000 placements of children into recreational activities in Thunder Bay. Each experience provides the opportunity for youth to develop into positive, contributing members of our community as they learn new skills, teamwork and cooperation. The sense of pride in their abilities leads to a sense of achievement and self-confidence.

    Saint John’s Website
    Thunder Bay’s Website
    Niagara Region’s Website
    City of Kingston’s Website

    Reach: Saint John, NB, Thunder Bay, ON, Niagara Region, ON, Kingston, ON

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    Big Brothers Big Sisters

    For one hundred years, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been making a positive difference in the lives of our nation’s youth. They have developed and implemented a wide range of one-to-one and group mentoring programs both inside and outside schools.

    Serving as role models, Big Brothers Big Sisters teach by example the importance of giving back, staying in school, and of having respect for family, peers and community. Each time we pair a child with a mentor or introduce a group of students to an in-school program, we start something incredible – a life-changing relationship built on friendship, trust and empowerment.

    Big Brother Big Sisters’ Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    Classroom Champions

    Targeting children in Kindergarten through grade 8, Classroom Champions brings Olympians, Paralympians and their games into the classroom using videos and live chats.

    A kind of 21st century pen-pal, each athlete mentor adopts 1-4 classrooms per year. Focusing on their own personal journey, athletes teach about the hard work of training, goal setting, competition and perseverance. Using video lessons and live video chats, students are engaged with their athlete mentor several times per month.

    Classroom Champions Website

    Reach: North America

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    Hockey Is For Everyone

    Hockey is for Everyone (HIFE) is the National Hockey League’s official youth development program. HIFE provides support to non-profit youth hockey organizations across North America. They are committed to offering children of all backgrounds opportunities to play hockey.

    Hockey Is For Everyone Website

    Reach: North America

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    Right To Play – PLAY Program

    Right To Play’s mission is to use sport and play to educate and empower children and youth to overcome the effects of poverty, conflict, and disease in disadvantaged communities.

    The PLAY Program is being implemented in partnership with First Nations communities, Tribal Councils and a variety of Aboriginal organizations across Ontario.

    Right To Play Website

    Reach: The PLAY Program is within select Aboriginal Communities within Canada.

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    Kingston Ontario’s Great Skate Exchange

    Kingston’s Great Skate Exchange, a sister program of the City of Kingston’s P.R.O. Kids charity, accepts donations of all gently-used skates.

    Anyone seeking a new pair of skates can call 613-542-3817 to set up an appointment which will be held at the Wally Elmer Neighbourhood Centre at 50 MacCauley St. These skates can then be taken home and used anywhere in the City.

    Owners of gently-used skates willing to donate, can drop them off at Artillery Park Aquatic and Fitness Centre, Wally Elmer Neighbourhood Centre, Cataraqui Arena, Centre 70 Arena, Invista Centre, or the Memorial Centre.

    Reach: Local (Kingston, Ontario, Canada)

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    Skate Canada – Learn To Skate CanSkate

    CanSkate is Skate Canada’s flagship learn-to-skate program, designed for beginners of all ages. When you sign up for CanSkate you will be in a program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. You will earn badges and other incentives as you learn fundamental skating skills. Lessons are given in a group format and led by an NCCP certified professional coach. Professional coaches are assisted by trained Program Assistants. The coach to student ratio is a maximum of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, music and a wide variety of activities that create a fun environment and promote learning. CanSkate is the feeder program to all other Skate Canada Skating Programs.

    Learn To Skate Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    Jumpstart is dedicated to removing barriers and allowing children can participate in organized sport and recreation.

    Jumpstart is a national charitable organization that helps financially disadvantaged kids participate in organized sports by covering registration, equipment and transportation costs.

    Jumpstart Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    CAN Fund is a not-for-profit organization devoted solely to raising funds and awareness of our Canadian athletes.

    CanFUND Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    Kids Up Front

    Kids Up Front Foundation provides children with the opportunity to access art, culture, and recreational sports.

    Kids Up Front works with a variety of charitable child-serving agencies to fairly distribute tickets to thousands of children. From selecting suitable ticket recipients to arranging appropriate supervision and coordinating event logistics, Kids Up Front provides children with amazing opportunities they might otherwise not have.

    Kids Up Front Toronto Website

    Reach: Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto

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    OneGoal provides packaged, branded hockey kits which include helmets, protective equipment, and everything you may need except skates and a stick. Multiple units need to be purchased to place an order.

    USA Hockey Program Services Website

    Reach: North America

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    The Gretzky Foundation

    Founded in 2002, the Wayne Gretzky Foundation’s mission is to provide less fortunate youth with the opportunity to experience hockey. This goal will be accomplished through the donation of hockey equipment and ice time, as well as providing the opportunity for children to attend professional hockey games. The Wayne Gretzky Foundation believes hockey instills positive life skills and contributes to the physical, emotional and social growth of young people.

    Gretzky Foundation Website

    Reach: National

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    Chevrolet Canada Free Hockey Helmets for 5 year old Children

    This program provides helmets to parents of 5 year old children each year. Please visit their website for more information.

    Safe & Fun Hockey Helmet Program Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    Goals & Dreams Fund

    The NHL Players Association Goals & Dreams fund is the largest grassroots hockey assistance program in the world. Founded in 1999, Goals & Dreams has contributed over $21 million to grassroots hockey programs and related causes in 30 countries. Through the donation of equipment grants, the program has given more than 60,000 deserving children the opportunity to play hockey and benefit from the sport’s commitment to teamwork, discipline and physical fitness.

    NHLPA Goal & Dreams Fund Website

    Reach: North America

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    Play Hockey Community Grants

    Play Hockey offers grants to community hockey organizations and sports associations to grow the game and keep hockey vital across Canada. The program is focused on helping get more children on the ice and providing opportunities for kids to get out and play. Registered charities are eligible for one of 20 grants of $25,000.

    Play Hockey Website

    Reach: North America

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    Parachute / ThinkFirst – Helmet Program

    Parachute is a national non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of brain and spinal cord injuries.

    ThinkFirst created the Give-a-kid-a-helmet program in 2003 to provide children with a helmet so that they can participate safely in the healthy physical activities of childhood – like riding a bike, learning to ice skate, or playing team sports such as hockey and baseball. Through this program and related initiatives, they’ve given away over $700,000 in helmets, supplying 35,000 kids across Canada with this vital protective gear.

    Parachute Canada Website

    Reach: National

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    Boys And Girls Clubs of Canada

    Boys and Girls Clubs bring out the potential in every child. Their Clubs offer children, from pre-school to young adulthood, a safe, affordable, enriching and fun place to go after school.

    Boys And Girls Clubs provide challenging activities that encourage healthy living, personal growth, learning, and community involvement. They aim to build self-esteem through supportive adult mentors and engaging activities that challenge and enrich the mind, body and spirit of each child.

    Boys And Girls Clubs Of Canada Website

    Reach: Canada (National)

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    Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, Community Skate Days (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens)

    Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) offers free community skate days throughout the season.

    Mattamy Athletic Centre Website

    Reach: Local (Toronto)

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    NHL Alumni – Beyond The Boards

    Beyond The Boards is the NHL Alumni’s grassroots charitable initiative committed to improving the lives of families and children throughout North America. This is achieved by bringing together former NHL players in community activities with the goal of inspiring today’s youth through positive sports images and building a better foundation for our youth.

    NHL Alumni Website

    Reach: North America

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    Ryerson Rams-In-Training

    Affiliated with Toronto’s Ryerson University, Rams-In-Training is an athletic program for local children and youth between the ages seven and sixteen. The 20-week program is intended to develop excellent hockey skills as well as educate participants on the subject of healthy living through various courses including on and off-ice training, nutrition, and day-in-a-life classes.

    Ryerson Rams-In-Training Website

    Reach: Toronto, ON

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    ProAction Cops & Kids

    ProAction Cops & Kids provides funding support for police programs for at risk youth in Toronto, Durham and Hamilton regions. The goal is to establish positive relationships between cops and kids in order to strengthen the community. One of ProAction’s signature programs is the ProAction Hockey League which is run weekly in the greater Toronto area throughout the winter months for children in these regions.

    ProAction Cops & Kids Website

    Reach: Regional (Ontario)