When Shayne Gostisbehere arrived in Philadelphia after being drafted by the Flyers organization in 2012, he knew he wanted to give back to the community. The community that he was now a part of, the community he and his now-fiancee Gina turned into a home, the community that would soon end up being forever grateful for all they have done.
“This [Philadelphia] is our home, we are a part of this community and we want to do whatever we can to give back to it.”, Shayne Gostisbehere told me.
This story goes way beyond the sport of hockey. This story spotlights and tells the story of Shayne Gostisbehere and Gina Valentine giving back to the community that they call home. It’s not talked about enough how much time and effort they both put into making sure they are giving back.
The purpose of this story is to hopefully inspire others to give back. If you can’t give back, sharing on social media, or just even being educated on what’s going on in the world helps.
Several interviews with several different people later, here is the inspirational story of Shayne Gostisbehere and Gina Valentine.
Back when the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020, Gostisbehere took to Twitter to share the news of a national shortage of N95 masks in hopes of getting more masks to give to those who need it the most – frontline heroes.
Shayne Gostisbehere’s fiancée, Gina Valentine, who currently works at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, or popularly known as just CHOP, was personally affected by the shortage of N95 masks.
“At the time, I was reusing the same surgical mask at work and having to store it in a paper bag between my shifts”, Valentine told me.
The tweet, which has racked up more than one thousand likes and lots of impressions, definitely helped out the hospital workers who received masks thanks to Gostisbehere’s classy gesture.
Although it was a friend of Gostisbehere who organized it, he still took it upon himself to share and get the word out via using his large platform that comes with being a professional well-known athlete.
Valentine says that every year around Christmas time members of the Philadelphia Flyers organization, including Shayne, visit CHOP and spend time with the kids who are going through one of the worst times of their lives.
Aside from giving back to CHOP, there are obviously way more organizations that Gostisbehere and Valentine give back to.
It wasn’t until 2017 that everything would change in a good way for the future newlyweds and the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Another organization that Shayne and Gina are heavily involved in and love to support is the Pennsylvania SPCA. “Having three dogs ourselves, and being huge animal lovers in general, the work that they do really hits home”, Valentine said.
In the past, it’s been well documented that both Shayne and Gina have attended multiple events held by the Pennsylvania SPCA as a way to support their mission and spread awareness.
Shayne Gostisbehere says, “Gina and I have visited their headquarters multiple times and every time we visit we are blown away by the work that they do there.”
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gostisbehere teamed up with the SPCA to host a trivia night in order to raise money.
Gina Valentine frequently spreads the word about scheduled Pennsylvania SPCA events on her Twitter page.
“We have been so honored to have the support of Shayne Gostisbehere and his fiance Gina, dating back to 2017 when they attended their first PSPCA event”, Pennsylvania SPCA’s Director of Public Relations Gillian Kocher said in an exclusive statement.
“Since then, they have always jumped at the opportunity to support our lifesaving mission whether that means through headlining fundraising events, helping the organization bring dogs to Flyers games to garner exposure, visiting the shelter themselves on multiple occasions, or just sharing how others can help on social media. It has meant the world that they have both gotten behind helping animals here in Philadelphia and throughout the Commonwealth.”
In November 2019, Gostisbehere surprised a group of students affiliated with Snider Hockey, which is a non-profit organization that uses hockey to educate under-resourced youth in Philadelphia, who was also volunteering at Pennsylvania SPCA and took a photo with them.
Earlier that same year, Gostisbehere stopped by one of Snider Hockey’s facilities and appeared to talk to the children there, take photos, and sign some memorabilia.
With Gina working at CHOP before and throughout the pandemic, she says it really has put things into perspective for not only herself but Shayne too.
Valentine says that it is important to keep things in perspective because other people may be going through something even worse than what Valentine and Gostisbehere experience, “There have been many instances in this hockey life that Shayne has either had a bad game…or is just having a rough day in general and it has always been helpful for us to sit down and put things into perspective.”
It seems like both Shayne and Gina enjoy their time in the Philadelphia region year-round with Valentine calling her current job “the most amazing job”, and Shayne saying that Philadelphia is their home.
Valentine, who became engaged to Gostisbehere in May of 2020, says that “The city of Philadelphia means more to us than just the city that he [Shayne Gostisbehere] plays hockey in. We have made it our permanent home and live here year-round.”
Shayne and Gina had one inspiring message to deliver to underprivileged children – “Follow your dreams and keep working towards your goals. Hard work and determination will pay off in the long run and there are brighter days ahead. I think it’s also important to remember that things are not always going to be easy, and there will be setbacks, but you just need to keep pushing through.”
Needless to say, Shayne and Gina are two amazing people and their story really proves that. Two classy people helping the community around them. If you read the story, I truly hope you were inspired by the things Shayne and Gina do in their free time.
This story uses quotes and statements that were exclusively obtained for the purpose of this story and are not found elsewhere. Special thanks to Shayne Gostisbehere and Gina Valentine for contributing to the making of this story.