OHA Student Athlete making ‘big saves’ within the community

Nov 20, 2020

A young student athlete, wearing #35 in net, on the U17 Prep Black team at Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) in Penticton is not only making big saves on the ice, but within the community. Manjot Panghli (Manny), has a long history of community involvement, and acts on any opportunity to help his community stay positive and move forward within these darker times. Small acts of kindness can go a very long way, especially during this year’s pandemic; as many families require additional assistance now, more than ever before.

Goalie-gear-pilot-food.gifManny fresh off the ice at OHA, prior to delivering his contribution to the Penticton Food Bank.

Before moving to Penticton, Manny along with his sister gathered over 1000 lbs. of food for their elementary school in Merritt, BC. The breakfast program at his elementary school was struggling to provide for the high demand of children in need, and Manny felt that he could make a difference. Manny and his sister raised awareness about the importance of the program, and with the help of Save-On-Foods, the program was able to continue. Save-On-Foods donated $500 worth of food; a generous contribution which provided four months of food for the breakfast program.


Manny donating 166 lbs of nonperishables to the Kamloops Food Bank.

Manny later moved to Kamloops, and quickly learned that the Kamloops Food Bank was struggling with donations during the pandemic. Without hesitation, Manny printed flyers and canvassed within his neighbourhood. He was able to collect 166 lbs. of food to donate. 

Recently, Manny moved to Penticton to attend OHA; where his kindness and generosity shines brightly amongst the organization. Upon moving to Penticton in September Manny went to the food bank to see if there was anything that he could help with. After speaking with them, they had mentioned that during the winter months it is always a struggle to provide for everyone in need. With the COVID-19 pandemic thrown into the mix this year, staff were more concerned than ever. Manny knew that he could help relieve some of this stress due to his previous experiences. “Since volunteering in other communities before I moved to Penticton made me realize that all it takes is one person to make a difference in a community” says Manny. Since September, the young man has already gathered 40 lbs of food within his neighbourhood for the Penticton Food Bank.

Manny’s generosity does not stop there, as he has since acted on the idea of making care packages for the local Salvation Army Penticton Community Food Bank. After researching how he could turn his idea into a reality, he applied to the #RisingYouth grant through Taking It Global; an organization that would help youth with a vision make a difference in their community. This was not an easy process and the application required a lot of detail and planning in order to be considered.

Manny’s ultimate goal is to set up donation bins at OHA, and begin monthly collections to donate nonperishable food items to the food bank all year round. This goal is within reach, as Manny’s story continues to be shared throughout Okanagan Hockey Group; inspiring others to help make a difference. Manny is universally admired and very well respected by his peers, coaches and teachers, as he is truly leading the way and making the world a better place.


Manny meeting with Salvation Army staff member, delivering his pallet of food to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank.

On November 26th, 2021, the 10000 night food bank event will be taking place in Penticton. This event will operate a little differently this year, and will include drop off stations where people can donate nonperishable items. Drop off locations include Safeway, Save-On-Foods, IGA, Walmart and Superstore. There will also be drive-thru locations at Penticton High School, and Princess Margaret Secondary School.


If you are interested in contributing to the Salvation Army Penticton Community Food Bank, please click here: https://pentictonsa.com/give.

Let’s all be a little more like Manny Panghli moving into this holiday season!

Written by Michayla Fraser

POSTED IN: Academy

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