Charles vis­its four schools with Hopey’s Heart char­ity

The Register Citizen (Torrington, CT) - - SPORTS -

Tina Charles went back to school this week.

The New York Lib­erty for­ward was spend­ing Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day at four lo­cal schools help­ing ed­u­cate kids about CPR, nu­tri­tion and con­cus­sions as part of Hopey’s Heart week.

Her foun­da­tion, Hopey’s Heart, hon­ors her aunt, Mau­reen “Hopey” Vaz, who died of mul­ti­ple or­gan fail­ure in 2013. It also hon­ors Wes Leonard, a high school bas­ket­ball player in Michi­gan who died in 2011 of sud­den car­diac ar­rest af­ter hit­ting the game-win­ning shot for his team.

“I never wanted to be an athlete that never gave back to the com­mu­nity. I never wanted to have that la­bel by my name,” Charles said on Wed­nes­day morn­ing at the Thur­good Mar­shall Academy Lower School. “I’m re­ally big about giv­ing back and help­ing others and be­ing a ser­vant onto others, that’s what it’s about to me. The fact we can raise aware­ness and that kids know what sud­den car­diac ar­rest is and what an AED is and how to use it is great.”

Charles part­nered with Safe Kids World­wide to put on the demon­stra­tions that in­cluded the kids wear­ing con­cus­sion gog­gles to sim­u­late what it feels like to have the head in­jury.

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