Their successful trip through Western Canada complete, the Capitals have been rewarded with a couple of days off before their next game, a Wednesday night match-up against the Pittsburgh Penguins. That Wednesday game will also be the Caps' turn to host Hockey Fights Cancer night, part of a League-wide initiative dedicated to raising awareness and funds to battle cancer of every kind.
That means that there's a lot of time off before the next game can be played. It's a long wait for more hockey - but that doesn't mean you have to wait until Wednesday to get involved and join the fight against diseases that have touched everyone in some way or another.
So why not put this time off to good use? There are plenty of things you, your friends and your family can do to make a difference in peoples' lives. Here are just a few:
Donate to any number of organizations who are dedicated to finding a cure, raising awareness and easing the suffering of patients and their families. This is just a small sample of groups who would welcome whatever you're able to give:
- Breast Cancer Fund
- Cancer Research Institute
- Hockey Fights Cancer
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
- LiveStrong Foundation
- Make-a-Wish Foundation - National and Mid-Atlantic chapter
- Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
- Movember Foundation
- Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
- Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
- Prevent Cancer Foundation
- Prostate Cancer Foundation
- St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
- ...and many, many more. Find the one that speaks to you and give what you can - every little bit counts!
Give blood or platelets through INOVA or the American Red Cross; both organizations hold blood drives all over the area just about every day, and you can find them by visiting their websites (INOVA; Red Cross).
- The Caps will also be holding their next INOVA blood drive at Kettler on November 14, and spots are still available.
- Sign up to be a bone marrow donor. It's estimated that 70% of the people who need bone marrow transplants have to look outside of their family - add your name to the registry at bethematch.org and potentially save a life.
- Volunteer. Time can be as powerful as money when it comes to making a difference. The American Cancer Society offers a ton of resources for those looking to volunteer, but any of the organizations above (and so many others) can always use more help, including the Make-A-Wish foundation.
- Help spread awareness. The Caps have given their reasons for fighting; who do you fight for? Make your stories heard and they might just help someone else.
And of course, be sure to participate in all of the events on Wednesday night. Bid on the special jerseys to be worn by the players during warmups (as well as Braden Holtby's mask), donate through Hockey Fights Cancer or make a pledge at r/Caps HFC to join the Caps, the NHL and all of us in this fight.
Special thanks to Aaron Becker for this wonderful, and important, idea to help us spread awareness. You may remember Aaron's son Sam, who got to be a Cap for a day last year thanks to the combined efforts of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Capitals. Sam will be welcomed back to Verizon Center Wednesday night - now 16 months cancer free!
Best wishes from all of us at Japers' Rink to Sam, Aaron and their whole family and extended community.