Arizona Coyotes Star Offers Hope, Fun to Foster Children
Marty Hanzal – Everyday Hero
PHOENIX (Wednesday, December 7, 2016) - What do Arizona foster children and a 6’6” hockey player from the Czech Republic have in common? They love to have fun, of course! Marty Hanzal, the Arizona Coyotes center, recently spent a Sunday afternoon having fun with foster children while teaching them how to fish.
Marty’s dad taught him to fish when he was six, and along with it came a love of the outdoors. From his treasured time with his father, Marty decided that foster children need the same opportunities – someone to care about them, spend time with them, and help them learn to enjoy fishing and the outdoors. “I just hope the kids have fun and hopefully catch some big fish!” Marty shared.
Marty Hanzal is more than an extremely talented professional hockey player. He is an Everyday Hero to children who really need to know that people care about them. He is one of many Everyday Heroes needed to help children in foster care have childhood experiences that are a normal part of growing up. Marty saw the need and despite his busy schedule, stepped forward to contribute what he is passionate about – fishing and a love of the outdoors. To the children, it was quality time with a caring adult (not to mention pro athlete) and just getting to be normal kids having fun.
The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) is thankful for Everyday Heroes like Marty Hanzal, and grateful that he took the time to help make life a little better for children in foster care. There are many Everyday Heroes needed, and many ways to help these vulnerable children. Everyone can do something. Whether it is volunteering, mentoring, fostering, or adopting, Arizona’s most vulnerable children deserve our very best.
While DCS is committed to its ultimate goal of Arizona becoming the safest place in the country for children to grow and thrive, the agency remains focused on the well-being of the children currently in state care. Efforts are underway to speed the path to permanency so that children do not remain in care any longer than necessary. This includes enhancing safety decision quality, the identification and elimination of systemic barriers, and strategic partnerships with private, community and faith based organizations, all designed to help speed the path to timely permanency. Children in group homes and shelter care are benefiting from the Fostering Sustainable Connections program that identifies family and supportive relationships in hopes of identifying forever families. Collaboration with the court system to lessen the time for children in care is also underway.
In the meantime, there are currently over 18,000 children in Arizona’s foster care system that can benefit from Everyday Heroes seeing the need and stepping forward to meet it. DCS invites the public to visit www.KeepAzKidsSafe.org to find out how to be an Everyday Hero for a foster child.