“Hockey is an influence that develops into a greater life calling” – Jason Stroud
Jason Stroud is the Owner & Operator at Stroud Manufacturing in Ontario, Canada. Stroud Manufacturing produces the ‘Original Hockey Lace Bracelet’ for the Hockey Players Union. The HPU raises funds for underprivileged children wanting to play hockey. I easily purchased a couple of these unique bracelets on their website and fell in love with the product and the mission. I’m honored and excited to share an inspirational interview I had with Mr. Stroud.
1. What is the Hockey Players Union?
The Hockey Players Union is an organization that raises funds for underprivileged children wanting to play hockey in North America. We do this through the sale of our patented Original Hockey Lace Bracelets sold on our website. We have a new Fall/Winter season line-up coming soon that will hopefully drive our organization to the next level.
2. How did the Hockey Players Union form?
The Hockey Players Union was formed in 2010. We wanted to start an organization that could give back to the hockey community that has given us so much. The Hockey Players Union website began operating late spring to begin selling our products to the public. We knew it wouldn’t be easy but almost a year later since coming up with the concept, we’re proud to say that the organization is exceeding expectations.
3. Why is your mission important to you?
Personally, our mission is important to me because I grew up with hockey as a main focus in my life. I was fortunate not to have struggled to stay on the ice as my family was very supportive of my athletic endeavours. However, I had many friends that weren’t so lucky and it was clear the impact the game had on their lives on and off the ice. The main reason I wanted to start this organization was to follow in my father’s footsteps of giving back to the hockey community. My father has been a volunteer executive member of our local hockey association for over 25 years. The amount of time and effort he puts into the association is unimaginable. Furthermore, I learned at a later stage in my life that my father had paid for many children’s registration fees over the years for families that could not afford to enroll their children in hockey, including some of my close friends. My father understood the impact the game of hockey has on people’s lives. I believe hockey is an influence that develops into a greater life calling and I want to give back to the hockey community in my own unique way. At this time, one in three children can’t afford to play hockey in North America. We want to change that.
4. Who does your organization help?
Our organization supports the families that can’t afford to have their child(ren) involved in hockey. We don’t want anything to stop the positive influence of the game from reaching those children. The difference we can make will not only affect individuals, but families and communities with the optimistic realization that the lives of these children will be changed forever. We provide funding during registration season to communities with families in need across North America. In addition, we have built great relationships with organizations that provide used hockey equipment to those in need, allowing further assistance if needed.
5. What has been your most memorable moment to date?
Personally, the most memorable moment to date was just before the Hockey Players Union went public. I was selling my Original Hockey Lace Bracelets at local rinks to raise funding for the cause and I finally raised enough money to give back to a local organization in my area. My simple instructions to this hockey association was to use this money to register an underprivileged child in hockey. To attempt to make a long story short, the money ended up going to a family I knew and without knowing that I donated the money, this family went on for hours telling me about how excited they were to be able to finally register their seven year old son in hockey. They had always struggled financially. Furthermore, it’s been over a year since their son began playing hockey and his life has already shown promising change through his new found confidence and school grades.
6. How can people support Hockey Players Union?
Anyone interested in supporting our cause can visit our website and purchase one of our showcased products. All the profit raised goes towards helping underprivileged children play hockey in North America. We also have Facebook and Twitter pages where we talk hockey and keep our supporters updated on new products and promotions.