Social Impact

In the spirit of giving back, the NHLPA enables its members, former players, fans and partners to make a difference and prove that with a team effort, anything is possible.

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The Players' charitable initiative is designed to assist grassroots hockey programs who are helping deserving youth play the game of hockey. Qualified programs receive complete sets of brand new hockey equipment from the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund, to be distributed to deserving youth in their community.

For more than 20 years, NHLPA members have been donating equipment to programs in their NHL cities and hometowns around the world. More the 80,000 children have been provided the opportunity to play the game of hockey in 34 countries. Over that time, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund has donated more than $25 million to help grow the game of hockey.

Each year, on top of donating equipment, NHLPA Goals & Dreams Ambassadors make visits to cities throughout North America to meet young hockey fans, distribute the gear, sign autographs and answer both hockey and life questions. The players enjoy the opportunity to meet and interact with young aspiring hockey players and provide a little insight into the life of an NHL player.


This season, NHLPA Goals & Dreams teamed up with Sonnet Insurance for the second season of Everyone Deserves A Team. Building off the success of the first series, NHL stars Nick Suzuki and David Savard travelled to Mani-Utenam, Quebec to surprise the young hockey players of Innu Nation. NHLPA Goals & Dreams donated 50 sets of equipment to help children living in this First Nation community play the game of hockey, which was led by an inspiring community leader, Normand Jr. Thirnish-Pilot. Sonnet Insurance provided financial support to continue Junior’s vision of creating good memories for the kids in his community.

Click here to view this story: https://www.sonnet.ca/sponsorship/goals.

In 2021, NHLPA Goals & Dreams and Sonnet Insurance launched their “Everyone Deserves A Team” series. NHL stars Patrice Bergeron, Zach Hyman, Darnell Nurse and Matthew Tkachuk, along with Olympian Sarah Nurse spent time answering questions and talking hockey with kids from the Hockey 4 Youth and Heros programs. NHLPA Goals & Dreams continued their long-serving support of these two programs with a donation of 50 sets of equipment to help even more children play the game of hockey, while Sonnet Insurance stepped up with a financial donation to cover their ice time fees for the next year.

To watch highlights from these calls and one-on-one interviews with Patrice, Zach, Darnell, Matthew and Sarah visit https://www.sonnet.ca/sponsorship/nhlpa-goals-dreams-2021.

The NHLPA Goals & Dreams program has been our single largest contributor of new hockey gear to military families across North America. We’re eternally grateful for the player’s ten years’ worth of support.
– Shane Hudella, Co-Founder, United Heroes League
Without this gear, our program does not exist. These kids will be forever changed because of the players’ donation of gear to our hockey program.
– Chris Cognac, Founder - Hawthorne Force Hockey Program


The National Hockey League Players' Association and the United Heroes League launched the All-Star Heroes Campaign in 2019, which recognizes military personnel and their families for their service and dedication to their country.

Each season, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund and United Heroes League select four deserving service members and a child to attend All-Star Weekend. Open to all branches of service in both the United States and Canada, public can nominate their military hero each November by visiting www.UnitedHeroesLeague.org.

2023 Winners:
⁃ Master Sergeant Josh Bowers (US Army)
⁃ Sergeant Josie Benford (US Army)
⁃ First Sergeant Mike Taylor (US Army)
⁃ Warrant Officer Shawn Keenan (Canadian Forces)



What does the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund provide?

The sole focus of the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund is to provide brand new sets of equipment to organizations that are helping economically disadvantaged youth play the game of hockey. A brand new set of equipment provides a child with everything they would need to play the game of hockey (i.e., Helmet, neck guard, shoulder pads, elbow pads, gloves, jock/jill, pants, shin pads, skates, hockey stick, bag, jersey and socks).


How many sets of equipment are provided in each NHLPA Goals & Dreams grant?

After each application is reviewed and based on its merits, a determination is made by the NHLPA Goals & Dreams Advisory Committee as to the number of sets the program will receive. This is done on a case by case basis. However, the maximum number of sets provided is capped at 25 per donation in order to ensure we can assist as many deserving programs as possible.


Can our organization apply more than once for an NHLPA Goals & Dreams equipment grant?

The NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund will make one donation, per program, per season (July 1st – June 30th). Programs do have the ability to re-apply each season but must be able to show a clear need for receiving another equipment donation.


Will the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund make a cash donation to our organization?

No, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund will not make financial contributions to charitable organizations. However, it will provide packages that can be used to help with fundraising efforts (e.g., silent auctions) by the charitable organization. If you are looking for a donation to your organization’s fundraising efforts please click on the “Charity Requests” off the main page.


Will the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund help with our arena repairs and/or upgrades?

While the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund did help with arena upgrades and repairs when it was first launched back in 1999, the program has shifted its attention to focus solely on providing brand new sets of equipment to help economically disadvantaged youth play the game of hockey. No cash donations will be made for these requests.


Who can apply for a NHLPA Goals & Dreams equipment grant?

Any organization or grassroots hockey program can apply for an equipment grant. However, there is a comprehensive application process and each applicant will have to a show a compelling need for and a detailed plan on how the equipment will be used to help economically disadvantaged youth play the game of hockey.


How long does it take to receive an equipment grant from the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund?

From the time an application is first submitted to the time equipment is delivered, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund aims to have to the process completed in 8-10 weeks depending on how thorough an application is completed and the geographical location of the program.


Do you have to live in Canada to apply?

No you do not. The NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund has made donations to programs in 34 countries around the world. Each year, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund receives applications from all over the world and provides gear to worthy programs.


Does our organization have to have an NHL player affiliated with us in order to apply?

This is not a requirement. However, the NHLPA Goals & Dreams fund does support those programs first that are connected to an NHLPA member because this is ultimately the players’ own charitable program.