Blue Burlington Eagles Still Hoping To Soar To Chevy Good Deeds Cup Win

With a little less than a week to go until the end of the Chevrolet Good Deeds Cup, the U13 A Blue Burlington Eagles still have their eyes on the prize.

The Good Deeds Cup started on Jan. 19 and runs until March 3, and the Eagles continue to sit second in the standings, behind only the U13-Black 4560 Hunstville Sting.

The boys held a hockey equipment drive on Feb. 24 for an organization called Their Opportunity (TO). The organization collects used hockey equipment for Indigenous youth up north.

Each person who donated had their picture taken with the equipment they brought so that every individual donation counted as a “good deed” for the Good Deeds Cup and the event itself, organized by the Eagles, was their good deed.

TO has two storage facilities, one in Barrie and one in Whitby and on Feb. 23, they sent 115 hockey bags worth of donated equipment to Winnipeg via CN Rail, who donated their services as well to get the bags out west.

The equipment collected by the Eagles will head to Whitby, and then will be off to Mississauga. It will be part of a shipment of 95 bags, 25 of which will go to Kapuskasing and then to Attawaspiskat.

From there, 75 bags will then be shipped to Thunder Bay and subsequently Pickle Lake. Next, 25 of them will be flown to Fort Severn, but the rest will stay in Pickle Lake.

The Eagles have also worked with the Burlington Food Bank to help them sort food at their new Feed Halton warehouse, a new, almost 13,000 sq. ft. facility that will allow the Burlington Food Bank to collect and redistribute higher quantities of donated food.

According to Robin Bailey, executive director of the Burlington Food Bank, the team sorted through about four bins of donations, equalling to around a thousand pounds of food.

“They definitely were really focused and knew why they were there,” said Bailey. “So that was nice.”

Bailey says that when a lot of people volunteer, they come in with a lot of energy but do not take the time to focus and complete the tasks properly.

But the team was energetic and enthusiastic and when they were given a task, they did it well. The boys also had fun with each other while doing it, which Bailey said was nice to see.

The team has only volunteered once with the food bank for the Good Deeds Cup but has also done a lot of work prior in terms of bringing food in and raising awareness for the Gift of Giving Back (GOGB), the charity that will get the $100,000 prize money, should the Eagles win the whole thing.

The Burlington Food Bank works closely with GOGB, which is currently their largest donor of food.

“I think that these kids, their initiative, and their energy, has just been amazing. And they have kept that momentum up in the care for their community,” Bailey continued.

“And I think that they’re really grasping what Gift of Giving Back is all about, which is to have kids really caring for the rest of their community.”

The Eagles were familiar with GOGB because of the annual food drive back in the fall, but this is the first time the organization has been directly involved with the team.

Other youth hockey teams take part in GOGB’s annual food drive, and GOGB is expanding to work with other Burlington youth sports teams including baseball, soccer, and gymnastics.

The organization brought in close to $1 million in food and cash donations in 2023 between Burlington and Oakville. Their food donation numbers are down and the number of cash donations has increased, but John Crick, director of operations for GOGB, says food donations will always be a part of it.

“You want the kids to see the food, collect the food…so they can see where it’s going,” Crick said. “The kids are much more involved if they can see the food, so it will always be a component.”

Crick says that both kinds of donations are important, but cash donations allow their beneficiaries, such as the Burlington Food Bank, to buy what they need.

Last year’s Good Deed’s Cup winner, the U13 Cornwall Typhoons, used their prize money to help Beyond 21, a non-profit that offers a day program for adults in Cornwall.

The money was used to grow the day program by providing continuing care, skill development, and community integration for more people.

“The Good Deeds Cup winnings played a crucial role in making this possible. Our program is heavily subsidized, and these funds served as a lifeline, allowing us to expand our reach and deepen our impact in our community,” said Hanna Pearson, fundraising and marketing manager for Beyond 21.

“Over the last year, we have been able to enhance our facilities, hire qualified staff, and boost the number of individuals we serve, giving their caregivers the respite they need.”

The Eagles are also putting together a Good Deeds Day on March 1, a final, single-day push to record as many good deeds as possible.

“I feel good,” said Owen, a member of the team. “It feels good to give back to the community.”

To submit a good deed on behalf of the Blue Burlington Eagles, simply record yourself doing a good deed, either by photo or video, and send it to U13ABlueBurlingtonEagles@gmail.com, along with a short description, and they will post it to make sure it is counted.

Only public social media profiles are counted, so if you want to post yourself, post it to your public social media account with the hashtags #GoodDeedsCup, #contest, #u13ablueburlingtoneagles, and #FillTheCup. Then tag @ChevroletCanada and @u13ablue_burlingtoneagles.

For more information, visit https://burlingtoneagles.com/Teams/1820/Articles/15536/The_U13A_Blue_Burlington_Eagles_compete_for_the_2024_Chevrolet_Good_Deeds_Cup_/.

Kyle Marshall, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Burlington Local-News.ca