Olympic Hockey Gold Medalists

There's nothing like giving back to your community, especially after getting a lot of prestige outside of your town. It's a humbling feeling to do your part in a place where you've grown up and created a “push it forward” attitude. For both Jocelyne Lamoureux-Davidson and Monique Lamoureux-Morando, it's much more than a charity. They really want to impact their home in a positive manner. They've combined their efforts to create a foundation that helps underserved children and communities and other causes mostly in their home state of North Dakota.

The whole thing comes from a concept that came from their mother, “Cheer for the one behind.” This is the core idea of The Monique and Jocelyne Lamoureux Foundation. Jocelyne explained, “She used that in reference to when she was cheering for Monique and me — she didn't know who to cheer for, so she'd cheer for the one behind. Or if our brothers' teams were going to play each other, she'd cheer for the team that was losing.” It's something that always stuck because it's about genuinely helping people out that need that extra push. Jocelyne said, “It's really been a part of who we are and our core values, trying to help people that are less fortunate. That's really what this foundation is all about.”

It's a crime that in North Dakota, nearly 30% of children live in low-income families and 1/3 of the state's students are eligible for participation in the National School Lunch Program. Furthermore, North Dakota is ranked 36th among all states for children living away from their parents and being in foster care. Not to mention, there's a huge amount of kids that are either on reduced or free lunch in the Grand Forks community. Jocelyne says, “It's not an urban area, it's a smaller town. What that looks like is different than when you go to a big city.” Their purpose is to make sure that kids that are growing up in a less fortunate situation can get some of the same opportunities they did. Additionally, they don't want to just give back, but they want more community involvement as a whole. “There's a balance of — we definitely want to give back, but we also want to create awareness around different projects that we're going to give back to. Hopefully, that engages and inspires more people.”

After Olympic hockey was over, they were certainly given a big platform to talk about their experience, but they wanted to ensure that their words were heard for the greater good. They've been able to create a platform in order to draw more attention to their upbringing. "We've been very fortunate. Our biggest opportunity has been to travel with Comcast and their Internet Essentials program. It's really opened our eyes to the difference we feel like we can make in our local community as well. We felt like a foundation is a way for us to step into our local community in Grand Forks and in North Dakota. Establishing a foundation is going to allow us to continue to make that difference."

It's much more than giving back and drawing attention to sports. They want to go beyond the status quo. Monique states, “To really help level the playing field for kids, especially in the education space, is something that we're really passionate about — getting involved in programs within the school districts, our schools."

Seeing as they've been able to work with Comcast, they want to help improve internet access and digital literacy for kids from lower-income families. It's about giving them an equal footing to not only excel in school but helping them gain tools to apply to their daily lives. Also, since they've both become new mothers, this has given them a new motivation to not only get back on the ice but to enhance their own lives.

Monique says, “I think it gives us so much perspective on life.” They have a renewed vigour, which has made them “hungry” again. “When it comes to training and everything, it gives us a whole new motivation to get back on the national team. But I think it also motivates us that we want to be able to give our kids every opportunity possible and also to help other kids that might not have those opportunities, to help provide the best for them if they don't have the same resources our kids have.”

This is definitely a great cause and shows a certain strength and unity that everyone can be a part of.

Author Bio
Tabrez Ahmad is passionate about travelling whole the world and he shares their experience while travelling.