NHL Star Henrik Lundqvist Continues to Set A Shining Example of Giving

Gabe Zaldivar

It’s impossible to truly quantify the power of sports.

The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation is just one example of that sentiment. The legendary goalie, who is now with the Washington Capitals but spent 15 seasons with the New York Rangers, once explained the reason that giving back to the community is so important to him.

He was speaking at a Madison Square Garden event back in 2017 when the question was posed to him—what do his charitable acts mean to him on a personal level.

He dove into a story about a young boy he met when he was 19.

“There’s one moment that really gets stuck with me,” he begins. The NHL star goes on to explain that he met with a young boy and his mother at a Swedish hospital on behalf of the local Ronald McDonald House chapter. Although the child was extremely sick, he was full of energy on that particular day.

“A week later she sent the note to the team that he passed away,” Lundqvist explaine, continuing to speak about a moment that changed his life. “She wrote such a nice letter talking about how much it meant to the family and the boy in that moment and it still stays with me, really.”

A young man offering up but a moment of his time for a sick child in need was an eye-opening experience. It showed the power of not just sports or celebrity but to being there for your fellow human. Taking your time just to be present costs nothing but can mean the world.

For his career, Lundqvist and wife Therese have absolutely been there, making themselves available to those in need thanks to a foundation that is dedicated to improving the world in the two distinct areas.

In January, the goalie was at a Pass the Puck event in New York City. He reiterated the HLF charge, “Coming here 15 years ago from Sweden, I wanted to create something on my own, an opportunity to help people here in New York and also help people back in Sweden; the focus is education and health.”

To that end, the foundation helps support various community partners in which Lundqvist believes strongly.

Foundation Partners in Giving

The Garden of Dreams Foundation is an organization that utilizes some of the most beloved professional sports teams in the New York City area to grant special dreams to kids in need.

One of this foundation’s signature events is the talent show, which invites children to come and perform amid the bright lights of Radio City Music Hall.

Sometimes granting wishes is as simple as providing a loving environment in which to heal. Anyone who has stepped foot into a Children’s Hospital is immediately hit with the tremendous work that goes into not only treating the world’s most precious patients but allowing the youth that must endure a hospital stay as much comfort as possible.

HLF also donates resources to New York Presbyterian's two children's hospitals, Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital and the Komansky Center for Children's Health.

The Lundqvist Foundation also supports both the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation—which works tirelessly to raise funds for grants to various nonprofits—and the Together for Better organization, a Swedish foundation with aims to improve education opportunities for children in the Dominican Republic.

And, of course, there continues to be ongoing support for the Ronald McDonald House charity organization. It’s in that same realm that Lundqvist met the young boy who changed the scope of his work off the ice when he was 19 years old.

Today, the Barnfond chapter offers a momentary respite to children undergoing treatment by way of five houses near hospitals throughout Sweden.

A Bright Future

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Young Ambassadors at a New York City Ronald McDonald House. Photo Credit: Henrik Lundqvist Foundation

Lundqvist’s work is but a torch to be passed on to the next generation. In that regard, HLF holds annual applications for would-be Young Ambassadors.

It’s one thing for the hockey star to impart compassion. But it’s another level to inspire others to carry on that legacy in whatever manner they choose down the line. The charitable spark perhaps starts by working closely with the foundation during formative years.

“When you do all these types of charity work, you realize the impact the young kids can have,” Lundqvist said back in January, via HLF. “It’s a great opportunity for them to see what’s out there and what type of difference they can make.”

A renowned athlete in the final chapter of his legendary career is just getting started with the work he started so many years prior, outside the boisterous arenas.

Lundqvist’s heart is witnessed in the more subdued and intimate settings where he continues to affect countless lives. And that work will continue for quite some time yet.

“Some of us get to take things like health, education, and financial stability for granted. But they’re far from guaranteed for many. The Henrik Lundqvist Foundation’s goal is to help people all over the world who face these kinds of challenges,” Lundqvist said, via the foundation.

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