Yaman Bai

Canadians give equipment to 10-year old Syrian boy who wants to play hockey

A 10-year-old Syrian boy has received a staggering amount of hockey equipment from Canadians after a tweet went viral asking for donations.

Yaman Bai arrived in Canada last March, accompanied by his mother and three siblings. Yaman's father wasn't able to join the family in their new home in St. John's, N.L., but many neighbours stepped up to welcome the family.

One of those neighbours was Michael Doyle.

The local hockey dad put out a tweet asking for donations of hand-me-down hockey equipment, so Yaman could join his classmates on the ice.

The response to Doyle's tweet was heartwarming.

Over the next few days, Doyle received dozens of anonymous donations: skates, hockey sticks, skating bags... If you can find it in an NHL locker room, then it was probably on his doorstep.

And then Canadians began to ask if they could donate money to help Yaman out.

Eventually, even small businesses started to get involved. Sportscraft — a hockey store local to St. John's — offered to give Yaman brand-new equipment with no mark-up on the cost.

Thanks to the generously donated funds, Doyle was able to take them up on that offer.

When Doyle took Yaman to the hockey store, the boy shook each employee's hand one-by-one. In true Canadian spirit, Yaman chose to wrap his stick with tape decorated with a maple leaf.

Heartfelt messages in response to Yaman's story have been flooding in from across Canada.

One woman was proud to be a part of such a generous country.

And a man in Ontario wanted to wish Yaman a warm welcome.

Another Canadian man absolutely was not crying.

But this Australian woman definitely was.

Keep being amazing, Canada.

Lead photo by

Atlantic Boychoir


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