(ACTIVISM/DOGS/PIT BULLS) Chicago Blackhawks’ left winger, Bryan Bickell, is currently in the middle of an NHL season filled with high expectations.

Last year, the Canadian ice hockey player was a huge part of his team’s Stanley Cup run, recording 23 points in the playoffs, including a game tying goal in Game 6 of the Finals against the Boston Bruins.

In addition to his on-ice success, the 27-year-old athlete is making a name for himself off the ice, with the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation, which creates awareness for pit bulls by working with them to aid abused children.

Chicago Blackhawks, Bryan Bickell, poses with his wife and pit bull.
The Bickells posing with one of Bick’s Pits, a female pit bull named Carmen. Photo Credit: Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation

The foundation’s website hosts a new pit bull each month in a section titled Bick’s Pits. The pit bull featured in the month of December is Dolly, a one-year-old mother, who is still looking for a good home.

Their Paws for Strength campaign takes once abused pit bulls and trains them as certified therapy dogs in order to create a healing environment for abused children. The campaign focuses on the importance of the human-animal bond, which can’t be stressed enough when it comes to redeeming this dog breed.

Pit bulls are often thought of as violent and aggressive, but the breed’s true demeanor hardly matches the harsh associations given to them. Like any dog, pit bulls who are treated with the appropriate level of love and respect, will grow to become amazingly loving pets.

Chicago Blackhawks Bryan Bickell on pit bull awareness.
Buddy, Bick’s Pit of the Month in October, celebrates his freedom on the day he was rescued. Photo Credit: Shane Chapman

The Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation was born out of the hockey player’s first Chicago Loves Pits campaign in 2012, after there was talk in Chicago about banning the breed.

Along with help from Adopt-a-Pet.com, the couple’s foundation grew with the goal of creating an accurate picture of pit bulls, and in turn, helping children in need.

On Monday, the Bickell’s released a 2014 Bick’s Pits calendar through Doggyloot.com to raise money for the foundation’s programs and the misunderstood breed.

Each month of the calendar depicts pit bulls with members of the Stanley Cup winners, the Chicago Blackhawks.

You can read more about the Bryan & Amanda Bickell Foundation on their website or through their Facebook page, and watch the Bick’s Pits calendar promo.

Don’t forget to watch Bryan and Amanda Bickell share the five common myths associated with pit bulls in the video below.

— Anthony Armentano, exclusive to Global Animal