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NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION

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Patriots players, including Devin McCourty and Matthew Slater, will be out in the community on a weekly basis during the season. 

 

Patriots players, including left tackle Nate Solder, participate in a variety of community events including the annual Children’s Holiday Party.

 

The Patriots Women’s Association are active volunteers throughout the year, helping to collect coat and toys for children, serving food to women in need and more.

The Celebrate Volunteerism initiative aims to share examples of dedicated volunteers, build awareness of the need for volunteering, identify and educate others about volunteer opportunities and inspire New Englanders to follow the Kraft family's example of becoming lifelong volunteers.

Throughout the season, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Foundation will celebrate volunteers that work tirelessly to support children and families in need throughout the New England region, while also encouraging Patriots fans to get involved in their communities.

Each week, the Kraft family and Foundation recognizes one outstanding volunteer as the "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week." Fifteen outstanding volunteers will be named as a Patriots Difference Maker of the Week. They will each be featured in print materials, including Patriots Football Weekly and Patriots GameDay magazine. They will also be featured on our website and they will be recognized at the Patriots final regular season home game against the New York Jets on December 31.

During the players one day off, they are giving back as part of Patriots Community Tuesdays. Current and former Patriots players will interact with children and families each week and speak about the importance of volunteering. New England Patriots cheerleaders, mascot, Pat Patriot, and families of Patriots players and coaches will also be actively involved in the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative throughout the season.

The Kraft family and Foundation encourage all Patriots fans to join us by nominating an individual for the “Patriots Difference Maker of the Week award, making a donation to our coat and toy drives or by volunteering in their local communities. Each week, we will post volunteer opportunities that are available with our partnering nonprofit organizations.

Be sure to check back here throughout the season for the most up to date information on the Celebrate Volunteerism initiative.

Congratulations to our 2017 Patriots Difference Makers of the Week!

Catherine Duncan
School on Wheels of Massachusetts

Caty started volunteering two years ago with School on Wheels of Massachusetts (SOWMA) which brings tutors into local homeless shelters. She uses her background in engineering to promote STEM based learning in the shelter. Last year she was paired up with a 12 year old female student who was notorious for skipping school and failing to turn in homework. In just over a year, Caty has managed to bond with the young student over a shared interest in marine biology and now, the young student has passing grades and dreams of going to college. Caty was awarded SOWMA Tutor of the Year for her volunteer efforts and received an official citation from the state senate. Her commitment to STEM learning is an inspiration to everyone around her. She strives to make a difference for each student she works with and avidly recruits other potential tutors to get involved.

 

Mike Cogburn
Pembroke Titans Against Drugs

As a parent and volunteer coach, Mike has been overwhelmed by the local drug and alcohol problem and saw the significant need for education about drug abuse and addiction. Three years ago, he sought out Pembroke politicians, educators and community groups and formed Pembroke Titans Against Drugs (PTAD). With his guidance, PTAD has sponsored several educational programs and community forums with local law enforcement and political experts on the heroin crisis and recent marijuana question on the ballot. Mike also created the Pembroke Youth Pledge program where sixth graders pledge to avoid drugs and alcohol and make good decisions after listening to the inspiring stories of graduating high school seniors. Through this nonprofit, two Pembroke graduating seniors receive the True Titan Scholarship award each year for promoting the PTAD mission and goals through their community service and choices during high school. Thanks to Mike’s leadership and work ethic, Pembroke now has a strong drug prevention coalition that brings the entire community together with a shared mission of one day making Pembroke drug-free.

 

Kristen Frazier
Wicked Good Cause

Frazier has been a pillar of the Duxbury and South Shore community for many years and has volunteered with various organizations throughout her life. In 2013, she founded her own non-profit called Wicked Good Cause, whose mission is to help local families who have been affected by unforeseen accident, illness or tragedy. To date the organization has raised more than $350,000 and it continues to grow each year.  Wicked Good Cause also helps local families in need during the holidays and launched a campaign to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer research. For a grass roots non-profit, Wicked Good Cause is well known on the South Shore and each year, Frazier’s tireless efforts continue to prove worthy as family after family receives support during their darkest times.

 

Roger Nolte
Mary's Place

Roger's late wife Susan lost her battle with breast cancer in 1994, leaving Roger with a broken heart and a four-year-old daughter to raise. That fall, Roger and his daughter visited Mary's Place, a non-profit that provides a safe place in which children, teens and families who are grieving a death share their experiences, receive support and find comfort. He found comfort in attending the Young Widow and Widowers Support Group as the group members shared memories, stories, tears and laughter. Roger is now the longest tenured volunteer at Mary's Place with more than 20 years of experience. His subtle acts of thoughtfulness can be seen throughout Mary's Place. From the beautiful flowers on the ramp that change each season to the handyman jobs that seem to magically get done, to the holiday gift drive that he manages to the support he offers at every event, Roger's endless dedication has been a beautiful tribute to his late wife Susan.

 

Molly McGaffigan
Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer

Molly was a 16-year old, three sport high school athlete when she discovered that she had ovarian cancer. The doctors informed her that she had a foot long tumor growing inside of her and that surgery was immediately required to remove it. Molly was fortunate to have discovered it early on and since that discovery, she has made it her mission to spread awareness about ovarian cancer. She gathered her high school lacrosse teammates and organized a “Teal the Field” game, to promote the importance of early detection. Molly also brought this tradition to Saint Anselm College as a way to help educate her peers about ovarian cancer. Over the past ten years, Molly has spoken to hundreds of high school and college students, sharing her story and promoting the various symptoms to girls her age. She has been a key volunteer at Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer and has been steadfast in her commitment to inform others that cancer does not discriminate and women of all ages are at risk. 

 

Cynthia Loesch
Codman Square Neighborhood Council

Cynthia is the youngest person ever elected President of The Codman Square Neighborhood Council. An activist since the age of 13, she started an environmental group called Breath of Life Dorchester – also known as Bold Teens – and convinced businesses to attach warning labels to packs of cigarettes that were being sold in the Codman Square neighborhood. She also helped to convince The Boston Globe to stop accepting ads for tobacco products. Now an attorney, she has elected to stay in Codman Square to continue to help transform it for the better. She helped launch one of the first summer farmer’s markets in the city and the first winter farmer’s market in conjunction with Codman Square Health Center. Cynthia works closely with the Health Center, the Boston Public Health Commission and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to make sure that Codman receives the attention it deserves when it comes to the health of the neighborhood. She is always working with elected officials and the community on the continued safety of the neighborhood.

 

Hugh Kelleher
Family Services of the Merrimack Valley

Hugh has had a tremendous impact on the lives of his two mentees – Collin and Ryan. To become a mentor in the Big Friends Little Friends program, volunteers must commit to a minimum of an hour and a half to two hours a week for a minimum of one year. Hugh not only kept his commitment as a mentor to Ryan, but he took on his brother, Collin, as a second mentee and has continued as a phenomenal mentor for the past eight years. Over the years, Hugh has played a major role in both boys’ lives. Even though Ryan has aged out of the program, Hugh continues to spend time with him every week while also continuing his relationship with Collin. Hugh has also played a critical role in recruiting other volunteers and has been one of the organization’s top donors and fundraisers. When asked about his relationship with Hugh, Collin said, "Before Hugh, Ryan and I had no father figure at all. Hugh totally stepped into those shoes. He is such a positive influence in our lives, I don’t know what we would do without him."

 

 

Patria Driscoll
Boston Housing Authority

Patria has been volunteering at the Boston Housing Authority (BHA) for more than four years and her commitment to serve help others has not wavered. Patria first joined as a volunteer interpreter for Spanish speaking clients of the BHA and helped to answer phone calls and translate documents for clients in desperate need of housing services. Without Patria’s help, those vital services would have been inaccessible for some of the people who needed them most. Even after four years, Patria still approaches every interpreting job with thought and care. She also travels to housing residences and assists non-English speaking residents with daily tasks that need translation. Patria helps residents to read their mail, which includes aiding them in understanding their benefits. Despite having difficulties sitting and using her hands for prolonged periods of time, her determined disposition has pushed her to work through the mobility issues that have plagued her in the past. The grace in which Patria handles herself through her pain in order to help others is something to be admired. 

 

 

To view the 2016 Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, click here