Former Boston University hockey player starts platform to teach kids the value of giving

Former Boston University hockey player starts platform to teach kids the value of giving

BOSTON — Craig Sanders walked on to the Boston University hockey team as a freshman in 2004. He didn’t see much ice time in his four seasons with the Terriers, but that perseverance stuck with him.

“I played 18 games. I failed to crack the lineup 146 times, so I’m hoping those lessons learned there and a little determination I can transfer over and start fundraising pretty soon here,” Sanders said.

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Former Boston University hockey player Craig Sanders cofounded Helpen which teaches children about the power of giving back.
Former Boston University hockey player Craig Sanders cofounded Helpen which teaches children about the power of giving back. (Helpen)

That fundraising is for a charitable platform he co-founded in November. It’s called Helpen.

“They could plant a tree, provide PPE or even contribute colorful bedsheets to children undergoing cancer treatment in the hospital,” Sanders said.

Here’s how it works. Parents subscribe and every week, Helpen sends a postcard with a listing of pre-screened, age-appropriate nonprofit organizations. The kids then pick a charity they want to learn more about and support with a $1 donation.

“It’s been so nice for them to have a positive way they can give back,” said Erin Elefante.

Parents enter donations using a special QR code on the cards and then activate Amazon’s Alexa to share a customized message about their chosen cause and how far their $1 contribution can go.

Pete and Erin Elefante of Hingham use Helpen with their three boys to show them a positive way to give back.

“Our four-year-old, Blake, chose this charity in Vermont that helps feed horses that have been left and he really liked the idea that that one-dollar actually buys hay for those horses that don’t have a home,” Pete Elefante said.

A subscription to Helpen costs $7 per month, which includes the postcards.

Former Boston University hockey player Craig Sanders cofounded Helpen which teaches children about the power of giving back.
Former Boston University hockey player Craig Sanders cofounded Helpen which teaches children about the power of giving back. (Helpen)

You can learn more about the organization and sign up here.