As the Stanley Cup begins its world tour – spending a day with every St. Louis Blues player, coach, hockey operations executive, trainer and equipment manager on the team – it seemed like a good time to reflect on the amazing season that we witnessed and what we can learn from it.
Winning the Stanley Cup was an amazing accomplishment for our beloved Blues and a comeback story for the history books. It was a true testament to the power of teamwork, resilience, focusing on a common goal, and supporting each other.
As someone that didn’t grow up in St Louis (in another town to the North that loves their hockey team), I can tell you the energy, support, and spirit of this community is unlike anything that exists elsewhere. I have witnessed Stanley Cup victories before, but I have never seen an entire region come together like what we just experienced. It seemed like EVERYONE – avid Blues fans, occasional viewers, and even people who aren’t necessarily hockey fans at all – came together to support the Blues until they won it all. We cheered, screamed, rooted for and celebrated people we likely don’t even know – Blues’ National Anthem singer Charles Glenn, Children’s Hospital patient Laila Anderson, and the players who gave everything they had to realize a dream that was 52 years in the making.
Their stories translate so well because this unlikely cast of characters gave our city and region a reason to come together and believe that ANYTHING is possible for those who dare to dream. At the St. Louis Area Foodbank, we’re pretty familiar with bringing communities together too. Through volunteers, community partner agencies, elected officials, donors, and Foodbank supporters, we are constantly working to unite people and other organizations in an effort to find ways to significantly reduce the number of hungry people in the bi-state region.
We have partners and supporters throughout our 26-county service territory, and we’re always adding to that list! But what if the entire region rallied around the Foodbank’s team, just as they did with the Blues, and focused all that energy towards partnering with us to make sure that no one in the bi-state region goes to bed hungry? Imagine what could be accomplished!
The staff and community at the St. Louis Area Foodbank know the power of unity that our trucks bring when we deliver food to a community – everyone coming together to serve people who need help. In addition to our normal food distributions, this summer Foodbank staff have been busy responding to communities impacted by flooding.
At times, our team members are driving 3 ½ hours one way to get to communities cut off by flood waters. That’s longer than a double-overtime game at Enterprise Center! In Portage Des Sioux, MO, we’ve been loading food into boats in order to get it to our neighbors in need. These efforts have resulted in over 127,000 pounds of emergency food and supplies going out to neighbors in Grafton, Clarksville, Hardin, Brussels and other communities dealing with tremendous obstacles. The stories, the hugs, the gratitude, the sense of community is very real. We’ve seen it firsthand. Even with so many people losing so much in the floods, neighbors are coming together to give strength to those impacted and their spirits will not be defeated.
Whether it is helping residents impacted by natural disasters or individuals and families just struggling to make ends meet, the staff at the Foodbank has consistently demonstrated what can happen when – just like the Blues – you work as a team, you are resilient, you are focused on a common goal, and you support one another. The missing piece is you. We can’t do what we do without the support of the community.
Teamwork is a pretty great thing and we’ve all experienced how good it feels to have it – for our hockey team and for our region. My wish is that you will look at ways that you can provide hope this summer to someone that really needs it – a friend, a family member or even a complete stranger. Just as the Blues thrived with support the community, our team needs your support as well to help us reach our goal. If you are looking to join our efforts to feed the region’s hungry, please consider giving a financial gift to the St. Louis Area Foodbank by visiting STLFoodbank.org/Donate.