He shoots. He scores!

Sam Hanks, a freshman at Anoka High School, set his sights on a goal and made it happen.

Hanks is a burn survivor who spent weeks in the burn unit recovering after a traumatic accident in 2016. At that time, his friends and family showed their support and he eventually healed well enough to get back into skates. In the summer of 2017, Hanks was invited to attend Camp RED in Cross Lake, Minnesota, where Firefighters for Healing hosts children between the ages of 6-16 years old for a week of fun watersports, horseback riding, nature games, skits, songs and therapeutic activities.

He returned from camp knowing his scars did not define him, he had more confidence to embrace his story and he had made amazing memories with lifelong friends.

Hanks recently rallied his Anoka Bantam boys hockey teams to play a recreational game on Sunday, Nov. 17 to raise awareness and money for Firefighters for Healing. He led the charge by donating the first $50 and asked his teammates and the community to help him raise enough money to send a child like him to Camp RED in 2020.

Hanks raised that amount and more!

He helped to raise $5,000 via a Give to the Max Day campaign.

“We are so proud to call Sam a friend and Camp RED alumni,” Firefighters For Healing founder Jake LaFerriere said. “His family has raised a great young man who wants to give back to the burn community who was there for him during a difficult time.”

Firefighters For Healing is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in 2010 by Laferriere, a Minneapolis firefighter who tragically experienced first-hand what a burn-injured child endures. While responding to a fire in Minneapolis, Laferriere was caught in a backdraft and was blown through the second story window. After many months in hospital, Laferriere founded Firefighters For Healing and has since devoted countless hours providing love and resources for burn survivors and firefighters who find themselves at Hennepin Healthcare or Region’s Hospital burn unit. Learn more at firefightersforhealing.org.

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