For each of the past 17 years, the Patriots have entertained hundreds of children from Salvation Army centers throughout Massachusetts for a night of holiday festivities at the Children's Holiday Party. Every year, dozens of Patriots players attend the party at Gillette Stadium and participate in the Wrap-a-Pat event, a game in which the children, working in teams, race to wrap Patriots players in holiday wrapping paper, ribbons and bows. The kids are also able to get autographs from players and cheerleaders, visit with Santa Claus and receive holiday gifts provided by the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation.
GIFTS FROM THE GRIDIRON
Gifts from the Gridiron teams with area businesses and player foundations to provide an evening of holiday fun for New England children in need. Children from area homeless shelter programs are invited to join Patriots players, who serve as their personal shoppers to select gifts for the holiday season. Players also assist in selecting winter essentials including jackets, hats and gloves. Each child in attendance is treated to dinner, photos with Santa and a gift wrapping session where they wrap a gifts they selected for a loved one.
The NFL/United Way "Hometown Huddle" is a special day of service in which all 32 NFL teams across the country work with United Way agencies to help make a difference in their communities. In recent years the Patriots have used the Hometown Huddle to promote fitness and nutrition to Boys and Girls Clubs.
SPECIAL OLYMPICS OF MASS. FLAG FOOTBALL & CHEERING STATE GAMES
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation teams with Special Olympics Massachusetts for the Special Olympics of Massachusetts Flag Football & Cheerleading Games at Gillette Stadium. Hundreds of SOMA athletes joined Unified® Partners to compete in a tournament on the field and in the Dana-Farber Field House. The games are complete with opening ceremonies, lunch and award ceremonies. In one of the first states to offer the sport of football as part of the Special Olympic programs, football participation has more than doubled in the past year.
Each fall, Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft is joined by Patriots players to help distribute more than 200 holiday baskets filled with all the Thanksgiving trimmings to local families in need at Morgan Memorial Goodwill headquarters in Boston. Baskets contain everything needed to prepare a Thanksgiving dinner, including canned goods, stuffing, desserts, and turkey. Basket recipients are individuals with disabilities or other barriers to employment who are currently enrolled or have recently graduated from a Goodwill job-training program. Others have children who participate in Goodwill's youth programs.