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VOLUNTEERISM

The Patriots will continue to Celebrate Volunteerism in 2018

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.

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

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 30.

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.

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 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.

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

Click here to view 2017 Difference Makers

2018 Patriots Difference Makers of the Week

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Patrick Lacey

Beat NB Cancer Foundation

In 2005, Patrick was informed that his seven month old son, Will, had neuroblastoma cancer. Eighteen months later, Patrick was told that Will’s cancer was incurable. Patrick refused to accept that fate and set out to find a cure. In 2007, Patrick established the Beat NB Cancer Foundation to help children, like his son, who are battling neuroblastoma. His fundraising has allowed the organization to establish life-saving clinical trials across the country. Since its inception, Beat NB has created more than 20 clinical trials spanning more than 40 hospitals across the United States. More than 1,000 children have been treated and positively impacted by these trials. Patrick also started a drug company to manufacture the therapies needed to save lives. Thanks to his volunteer efforts, Patrick has positively impacted the lives of thousands of children, including his son, Will, who is now in middle school, playing a variety of sports and has been free of cancer treatments for more than three years.

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Ashia Ray

Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange

One of the many volunteer roles at MARE is a volunteer photographer, as the right shot of a child makes all the difference in attracting a prospective adoptive family. One of the nonprofit’s most utilized recruitment tools is an online photo profile, which allows prospective adoptive families to learn about waiting children on the MARE website. Ashia is one of the organization’s outstanding photographers and has been capturing photos for MARE’s Heart Gallery for four years. She has photographed MARE events and donated photo sessions with waiting children, producing highly impactful blog posts about the experiences. The first post Ashia created about a young boy was shared more than 3,000 times on Facebook and the organization received 48 requests from prospective families. Another blog and photo session she posted on MARE’s Facebook page led to the adoption of a young autistic boy. Ashia also wrote a feature article about a young woman that resulted in her finding an adoptive family after 8 years on MARE’s caseload. Aisha is a photographer, neurodiversity and disability rights activist and a mother of two. She has brought her professional skills to MARE and through her tireless volunteer efforts, she is giving these children an opportunity to express themselves while ensuring that they are matched with loving families.

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Kathan Pierce

FRAXA Research Foundation

Kathan and her husband, Michael, have two young boys with fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that is the most commonly inherited cause of intellectual disabilities and autism. Since their diagnoses, she left her full-time position in the corporate world to focus on the well-being of her two sons, raise money to find a cure and to spread awareness for this disability. Kathan’s family foundation, The Pierce Family Fragile X Foundation, has raised over $200,000 through its fundraising efforts and donated all the proceeds to FRAXA Research Foundation to fund the most cutting-edge research. Her commitment to FRAXA’s mission earned her a seat on its Board of Directors in which she partners on strategic focus, development efforts and research grant selection. Kathan and her husband, Michael, have been true advocates, traveling across the country to speak with congressmen and senators to advocate for more government funding. She also volunteers to speak with newly diagnosed families in greater Boston and at the Boston Children’s Hospital Fragile X Clinic. Kathan offers her support following their diagnosis and assures them that they are not alone.

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