Kirk McLean’s hand must be sore.
The former Vancouver Canucks netminder has been out in Surrey for the past couple of weekends, handing out autographs to fans.
Last weekend, he was up at Rogers Hometown Hockey when the convoy stopped in Surrey. This Sunday, he was at Save-On-Foods in White Rock collecting food and toys for victims of sexual assault.
He was joined by former teammates Jyrki Lumme and Dave Babych, who were also a part of Rogers Hometown Hockey last Sunday.
McLean is back in familiar territory, as the netminder used to be a White Rock resident.
“It’s quite something to see how much this area has grown,” he said.
On Sunday, the three players were lending a helping hand to Sophie’s Place Child & Youth Advocacy Centre, a local organization that helps children who have been sexually assaulted.
The food and toys that were collected will be donated to families who have been affected by some kind of childhood sexual abuse.
Sophie’s Place and the Surrey RCMP work together to determine which families receive the donation.
“The event is here today to raise awareness about childhood sexual abuse and victimization,” said drug and alcohol interventionist Andy Bhatti.
Sophie’s Place has been in existence since 2012, giving children up to 18 years old a place for them to share their stories of physical, mental or sexual abuse in a space where they feel safe and welcome.
“We’ve really seen the organization grow over this time,” said Director at Sophie’s Place, Judy Krawchuk.
“On average, we do 200 interviews a year for children who have been victimized by childhood sexual abuse.”
Sophie’s Place was the first Child Advocacy Centre in British Columbia. The not-for-profit organization says they need $150,000 each year to dedicate resources to the children who need their help.
Donations for the organization can also be made on their website.