Every time Josh Kosack goes up the steps of the C.O.C.O.A. House in Schenectady, he leaves everything at the door to make time for some of his best friends.

“They mean the world to me," Kosack says of the kids. "To see them so happy every time I come over, just to hang out and play Legos and relax from everything from the outside world, it's a breath of fresh air.”

Two years ago, following an interaction with Patrick Toner after a win over Dartmouth, Kosack started Kozi’s Kids by donating unused game tickets to the youth of Schenectady. Last year during the pandemic, Kosack raised $5,000 to buy them Christmas presents.

The kids were forever grateful.

What You Need To Know

  • Union hockey forward Josh Kosack has been giving to the C.O.C.O.A. House for a few years

  • After raising $5,000 a year ago for Christmas presents, he's looking to raise $20,000 this year

  • He says the money will go to a new lounge for the kids and a state-of-the-art learning center

The nonprofit C.O.C.O.A. House offers free, after-school mentorship and academic enrichment. This year, alongside C.O.C.O.A. House Executive Director Will Rivas, who purchased his childhood home next store, Kosack has set loftier goals.

He plans to raise $20,000, with $15,000 of it going into the new house. Kosack has already raised more than $6,000.

“My goal with Will is to transform this room into the Kozi’s Kids lounge," Kosack says. "That's what we’re raising the $15,000-plus for. I hope to turn this into a space where they can come and relax, hangout, hopefully have a nice setup with a couch, some desks, a TV mounted up here."

The duo also plan on adding a state-of-the-art learning center in the room next to it. There have been no hold ups with the final permits getting approved.

“It all just happened so organically," Kosack says. "I’m blessed to know Will, and excited to get this project started.”

“The buy-in from Union College and Josh’s teammates has been amazing," Rivas added. "They welcome us to their games. We have our little own section when we’re there, and I look forward to the work we’re going to continue to do.”

The hope is to present the finished product to the kids next summer.

Kosack might not be around to see it, as he’s set to graduate in the spring. But wherever he goes, a piece of his heart will stay in Schenectady forever.

“Wherever I end up, I’ll always be connected to this place," Kosack says. "I’ll always come back to visit whenever I can, and I’m sure teammates will continue to provide for Will and the kids the opportunity to come to games and come over to support whenever they can.”