As Told to Holly Gambrell
“Hath’s Heroes was a program I started back in the beginning of the season and I was really inspired by my great-grandfather, who was a firefighter in Winnipeg and who I’m actually named after. I grew up hearing amazing stories about him. I really felt, in a way, attracted to firefighters’ jobs and their work ethic and everything they do for the community. Hearing brave stories about my great-grandfather, I always had a connection to first responders where if I did have the opportunity to help out, I really wanted to take advantage of it.
When this pandemic started affecting the DMV area, it really felt like first responders needed our help, our support, now more than ever. They’re not able to stay home safely with their families. They’re on the front lines and they’re putting themselves in danger to keep us safe. Having those relationships I created early on, I was able to reach out and observe which way we could help out. They couldn’t come to games anymore, so that wasn’t an option, but maybe there was a more physical way to help out, and we found out it was food.
Any prepared meals are an awesome way to relieve them of that stress of going to the grocery store. For firefighters at the firehouse, they all have to get in the truck with all their equipment and they all go to the grocery store to pick up what they’re going to cook that night. Having prepared meals and the nutritious ones that SuprFd makes … I’ve eaten them because SuprFd has fed the Capitals for a few years now … It seemed like a no-brainer to be able to come together as a community and provide first responders with these types of nutritious meals.
Every meal purchased for a first responder is going to give a free meal to a high-risk individual in need in our area as well. It’s going to be a lot of meals. It’s going to really make a difference, not just only for the first responders, but also for individuals that need it now more than ever.
A lot of first responders have said they’re worried about getting their family sick. I think that’s the biggest thing that resonates, because although my day-to-day life has really changed with hockey with the season being suspended, it really hit me when I realized first responders can’t quarantine by themselves. They’re worried about their family and their own health. But at the same time, there is such a selfless act to protect us, to keep us safe.
The unknown is the biggest hurdle to get over. I think that’s affecting not just hockey players, but everyone. The team’s been unbelievable. Our trainers have been great. They’ve contacted all of us, they’ve given us workouts to do to keep us in shape because it’s not for certain that the season’s going to be over with. We could come back and I hope that we get a chance to keep playing hockey, especially this season. It’s the motivation that when we do come back we’re going to need to be ready to play. Knowing that my teammates are going through the same thing, we’re motivating each other to make sure we’re all accountable.”