Over the coming years, ILSC & The Hockey Foundation plan to distribute even more books to more schools around Ladakh and India at large, and we are looking for your help!
The Hockey Foundation is offering a raffle to support our fundraising efforts in advance of our next trip to India. We're excited to offer you some unique raffle prizes, and wanted to take this opportunity to explain what makes each prize significant to our us, and hopefully to you as well.
If you've been thinking about donating, this is a great option to get a little something in return beyond supporting a great cause, changing the lives of countless children (and adults!) and being a part of something bigger than oneself, of course.
Green Vibrance, courtesy of Vibrant Health
Green Vibrance, is a green super food. It's a powder of many greens, and then some! There are 74 ingredients in Green Vibrance, with 25 billion probiotics per serving, and can be mixed in water, juice or other liquids. When our team of coaches is in Ladakh, one of the biggest problems we all have to deal with relates to our diet, but it's not what you think. Sure, Ladakh is in India, a country famous for "Delhi belly", a particularly un-fun food-borne stomach illness, but Ladakh has cleaner spring water than most of India, and rarely gets to a temperature (especially in the winter) that allows harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa to fester and multiply. The problem in Ladakh is that during the winter there are very few options for a nutritious balanced diet. That's not to say our team is looking to eat as per the famous USDA food pyramid (there are too many Pringles and Snickers consumed), but the distribution of vitamins and minerals doesn't seem to be present in the salt & carb-heavy diet of Ladakh. Green Vibrance has been the complement and supplement that keeps our team healthy, energetic and digesting well. When they return to lower parts of India, such as Delhi, Green Vibrance adds the additional support of keeping our team "regular", as the probiotics digest much of the stuff that can contribute to "Delhi belly" and the rest of the ingredients boost immune system and digestive system function, creating a tough battle for the harmful organisms. The taste is pretty neutral, and with some juice, it's barely noticeable. The benefit is obvious! Vibrant Health has donated two 30-day supplies of Green Vibrance for our raffle, ending 11/25/13.
Being a New York City-based non-profit, we're excited to offer 2 annual memberships of Citi Bike, courtesy of NYC Bike Share. This new bike-share program is less than a year old and already seen over 10 million miles traveled in over 6 million trips by nearly 100,000 annual members & countless 24-hour & 7-day pass-holders. Riding a bicycle is one of the best ways to train for hockey. The leg muscles get a great workout that contribute to power, endurance, agility and overall wellness. Players like Jaromir Jagr and Chris Chelios are famous for riding bikes before and after hockey games to maintain peak physical conditioning. Whether you own a bicylce or not, having a Citi Bike membership is a great perk for any New Yorker, as sometimes you don't want to drag your own bike around all day or lock it up in areas that may not be reliable. For non-New Yorkers, if you have a friend or family member that lives in the area, this is a great gift for the holidays, but you can only win it if you enter our raffle, ending 11/25/13.
10 Skate-sharpenings, courtesy of NYC Skate Pro
Keeping with an NYC-theme. NYC Skate Pro, the pro-shop at City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City, Queens, has generously donated a card for 10 free ice skate sharpenings, whether it be hockey, figure or speed skates. Sharpening ice skates in NYC is an expensive endeavor, especially if you skate regularly, and there are few locations that facilitate this service. It goes without saying, this is a great prize to win, but only if you enter our raffle.
Authors Dave Bidini and Kerry Fraser (the famed helmet-less referee) have both generously donated their hockey books to support our fundraising efforts. Every trip, we donate books about hockey to schools in Ladakh, whether the books be instructional, fiction or in this case non-fiction. The Final Call is a collection of stories stemming from Kerry Fraser's final season in the NHL. Tropic of Hockey is about one man's journey to find hockey in unexpected regions around the world. Needless to say, we identify with that mission, as The Hockey Foundation operates in Northern India! Of course, you can pick up these books on Amazon, but for only $20 you'll get 5 chances to win both, and still have 4 more chances to win something else!
Stay tuned for more updates on our raffle, including information on the rest of our raffle prizes!
“Where have you been?” “Why haven’t you posted anything in a while?” “Are you going back to India?”
All good questions.
Questions that are going to be answered as directly as possible, but with backstory.
I’ve been back in New York since June 2009. I spent a few months getting my life back in order, which included moving to Brooklyn (from Long Island) and taking a job at Eastern Mountain Sports, a company I had wanted to work for before I worked for the Islanders, and would allow me to outfit myself better, with better know-how, for future endeavors.
That job was supposed to be part time, to allow 100% dedication to The Hockey Foundation, but catching up on finances after 5 months out of the country was more difficult than originally anticipated, and that job turned into 40 hours and a supervisory position (manage the “gadgets & sunglasses” department, which I am very enthusiastic about).
At the same time, I was in discussions with an “organization” that seemed to be creating a TV program that would have similar characteristics to what The Hockey Foundation has been founded to do, and would allow me to provide my digital marketing expertise while also promoting and funding The Hockey Foundation. The guys who run the “organization” are nowhere to be heard from, after making big promises and taking on a prominent sponsorship. I kept pushing my schedule back, because I trusted them and truly believed in the concept. It seemed like the perfect storm to continue making a difference for hockey players in India and ultimately around the world, earn a living, and be responsible for a full-scale digital marketing campaign with the backlog of ideas that I have.
Well, that’s apparently not happening.
If you followed my adventures in India, you’d know that my laptop broke while I was there. With all the catching up on finances, getting a new computer was just below eating food and paying for transportation on my priority list. Less than a month ago, I finally got something to hopefully last a few years, and keep me working before jumping on an aging PC, that I use primarily through Ubuntu, and is situated on a low-lying coffee table in front of my futon-bed. Try doing any work on that when you get home near midnight and have work the next day.
To add insult to injury, the IRS had been planning to release Cyber Assistant, an online assisted 501(c)(3) application, that not only would streamline the application process, it is supposed to be significantly cheaper.
A quick Google search will show you that the IRS recently announced another delay to Cyber Assistant. This means that the application fee will be higher, the risk for mistakes will be higher, and the process will take longer.
These are not excuses. Just reasons. And now that some of the situations have been resolved/addressed, I’m pushing forward. I’m tired of waiting. Waiting for people to fulfill promises they made, or for the IRS to release a better application process.
These things have weighed on me for many months. As I waited on them to resolve on their own, I sat idly, not posting too much on the website so as to not make promises that I can’t keep. I still have an open-ended promise to deliver equipment to a women’s hockey team in Ukraine that has been unfulfilled to date because the Europe trip I expected from this “organization” in May never happened.
It will. On my terms. On your terms. On our partnership.
India is very much still the focus of The Hockey Foundation.
There is a lot of work to be done in Ladakh, Kargil, Shimla, Dehra Dun, Delhi and around the country. So much has happened, much of it good, but there is still a lot of improvement that needs to happen within India to make this program succeed for them. Ultimately, my goal and desire is to share happiness through a game that has provided me with more than I could ever have expected. But there’s still so much to do, and I plan to discuss that with you…soon.
Expect another post within the next 5 days or so, that will specifically address the plans for ice hockey development in India and how The Hockey Foundation needs your help.
Needless to say, funding is essential. A lot of kind-hearted souls have donated their hockey equipment to be given to hockey players that don’t have the opportunities they do. It takes a lot of money to move hockey equipment around the world. Please help in making this a reality.
I feel relieved sharing this with you. I hope it helps explain where I’ve been and what I’ve been doing and what my plans are. The adventure has only just begun, so I hope you are willing to go on it with me!
In case it wasn’t obvious already, my previous post was a bit more personal and philosophical than its predecessors. I had toiled over whether or not I should remove/edit this post many times, and after a handful of discussions, analysis, and reflection, decided to leave what I wrote as is.
- Benjamin Franklin has been a long-time hero of mine - someone I consider the quintessential American (I wrote a paper on this topic in college). I stumbled across this quote not long after departure from NYI, at a time when I was looking for inspiration and motivation. Along comes a quote from one of the most important men in US history (if not world history) that promotes making the most of your time and working hard, and it immediately motivated me to get to work and not let the comforts of normalcy get in the way of opportunities of the present and the future. This quote is pure Carpe Diem - sieze the moment - and doesn’t conflict with the philosophy of karma. In fact, it works side by side, and in my opinion, it says that our fate lies in our determination, focus and intention. If all of those are positive, good things will come, and what can be more karmic than that!?
- I am still trying to figure out where I saw this word and it’s translation. What I can tell you is that in the research I’ve done, there is a true sense of “Ikigai” in Japan, but there is also a fascination with it. Studies have been conducted on whether ikigai is a major motivation in Japanese (and other) culture - but I didn’t read the results, because quite honestly, I don’t care. For me, ikigai absolutely rang true and vibrated through my soul. When I talk about passion, my impression and opinion is that it is similar to what the Japanese consider ikigai. Passion is pursuing and enjoying that which makes one’s life worth living, and hockey is that passion for me (as you well know by now). It was just one more karmic indicator that I was shooting at the right net.
- This quote floored me! For some time, I had been preaching about passion and idealism, and then I stumbled across this quote - while in Delhi. The office that I spend a lot of time at in Delhi is next to Patel Chowk Metro Station in Central Delhi, the station that houses the Metro Museum. On my first day, I walked through this exhibit briefly, and figured I had seen everything that needed to be seen just by passing it. A few days later, I made plans to meet a friend in the station, and ended up waiting for about an hour inside the station. So I decided to really take in the full details of the Delhi Metro. Around 40 minutes in, I stumble across this quote, which had been used to motivate the developers/construction workers/employees of the system. It felt as if it was written for me! In just one paragraph, written at some point in the past by and Indian I had never heard of, the human condition - my condition - was on display for all to see. For me, “The Hockey Volunteer” is my extraordinary project. It is my calling. We all have that in us, and when we find it, everything changes. Our lives change. We become focused, determined, resourceful, energized, and ultimately: happy. Talk about karma!
Until then, make sure you check out pictures of hockey in Ladakh (and tourism in India, if you’re so inclined). I have also posted new pictures on Flickr taken by others in Ladakh, including some pictures by Russ Taylor (nomadruss.com). Please check them all out. Don’t forget Akshay Kumar’s pictures from the 4th National Ice Hockey Tournament.