When Brad Spence, founder of Helmets for Heroes, competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, he was wearing a hand painted helmet by Gillian O’Blenes-Kaufman, a young patient at the Alberta Children’s Hospital. During a hospital visit a few months prior, Brad had learned of Gillian’s incredible artistic talents and wanted to bring her on his journey to Sochi. He did so by having her design and paint his Olympic helmet.
Seeing the impact that his helmet had not only on her, but also on the entire community, Brad wanted to find a way to bring the athletic and artistic worlds together, to support and help children battling adversity cope and heal. What evolved was Helmets for Heroes, an initiative aimed at doing just this. For each project, an athlete, an artist, and a child battling adversity are connected to collaborate on a helmet design that will be worn in competition by the athlete. Art not only helps children battling adversity express themselves, it improves their mood, decreases pain levels, and assists in the healing process. After completion of the projects, the helmets are auctioned off, with proceeds being donated to the charity of the child’s choice. To date, Helmets for Heroes has facilitated five very unique projects, raising more than $15,000 for charity.
I’m proud to announce that I’m working with Arianne Jones and her teammates on the Canadian National Luge Team, alongside Cassandra (age 11) to design Arianne a helmet that she can use at the World Cup and in competition through-out 2015-2016!
Watch this space for updates and news … and support Helmets for Heroes!