The Kraft family has transported more than 1.8 million respirator masks to assist those working on the frontlines against the spread of the coronavirus. They provided the Patriots 767 team plane to travel to China in early April to pick up 1.2 million masks that the governor of Massachusetts had acquired. The plane returned to Boston on April 2. The next day, Robert Kraft had 300,000 of those masks delivered to New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic at the time. The Kraft family coordinated the shipment of an additional 500,000 respirator masks from China the following week. Separately, Robert Kraft purchased and donated 100,000 masks to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City.
Robert Kraft Donates Super Bowl Ring, Raising more than $1 Million for All In Challenge
On May 10, Robert Kraft joined the "All In Challenge," in which athletes and celebrities have been offering up once-in-a-lifetime experiences to raise money for COVID-19 relief. All proceeds go towards providing food to those in need – children, elderly and frontline heroes.
Kraft donated his Super Bowl LI ring from the Patriots' unlikely comeback victory over the Falcons. In addition to the ring, Kraft will fly the top bidder to Gillette Stadium on his personal plane to receive the one-of-a-kind memorabilia in the Patriots trophy room. Kraft chose the Super Bowl LI ring because it represents the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, and it is a reminder that through great effort and teamwork, our country will come back stronger from this pandemic.
Within 48 hours – and nine days remaining in the auction – the ring became the highest-earning item of the All In Challenge, with a bid surpassing $1 million.
Patriots Donate Road Trip Experience to All In Challenge
Following Kraft's Super Bowl LI Ring donation, the Patriots also joined the All In Challenge by offering up a unique road trip experience to the highest bidder. The winner and a guest will fly to an away game of their choice on the Patriots team plane, stay at the team hotel, meet Patriots players the night before the game, watch pregame warm-ups from the team bench area and receive a game ball to take home. All proceeds raised will benefit non-profits like Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen, No Kid Hungry and Feeding America.
Robert Kraft purchases Chrome Books for Boston Public School students
Immediately following the closure of the Boston Public School system in March, Robert Kraft donated $250,000 to the Boston Resiliency Fund. This donation funded the purchase of Chrome Books for children in the Boston Public School system who did not have laptops so they could participate in the online education all schools are instituting during the "stay at home" orders.
In order to continue supporting our healthcare heroes and first responders, the Patriots and Revolution Foundations pledged 100 percent of all donations in the month of April to the purchase of additional medical supplies in the fight against COVID-19. In total, fans raised $179,370, which purchased nearly 17,000 Level 3-4 medical gowns. These gowns are being distributed to hospitals, healthcare facilities and local boards of health across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that MEMA has determined to be most in need.
Kraft Family Supports Victims of Domestic Violence
In response to the rising incidents of domestic violence during the "stay at home" orders, Robert Kraft donated $100,000 to support the work of Casa Myrna through this crisis. Casa Myrna is Boston's largest provider of shelter and supportive services to survivors of domestic violence, providing safety, resources, advocacy and information since 1977. They operate SafeLink, the statewide domestic violence hotline, and promote domestic and dating violence prevention through awareness and education. All of their support services are provided to survivors free of charge.
Additionally, the Kraft family and the Patriots Foundation will be providing more than $27,000 in gift cards to homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters all across New England.
Gillette Stadium hosts COVID-19 Public Safety Testing Site
In conjunction with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, Gillette Stadium opened a COVID-19 testing site in early April for first responders and essential workers. The testing site is available seven days a week to state and municipal police and fire personnel, municipal EMS and PSAP personnel, Massachusetts National Guard personnel on active duty and correction officers, as well as grocery store workers and others in essential businesses. The site tests up to 300 individuals a day, and in doing so, helps alleviate the burden on hospitals and medical facilities which are providing tests to the general public. The Kraft family has donated the space, staffing and ongoing resources necessary to operate the testing site in the Gillette Stadium parking lots.
Packed and Distributed More than 2 Million Meals through Food4Vets
In early April, the Patriots and Revolution teamed up with the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation to provide "vital food packages" to veterans, military families and veteran service organizations. These packages contain non-perishable foods and nutritionist-developed recipes to provide three meals a day for two people for 14 days. Since the program's inception, more than 2 million meals have been assembled. The Kraft family provided space at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to help meet the demand for meals, where food continues to be packed and then distributed throughout New England. What began as a 10 day food drive has continued to grow in response to the COVID-19 crisis. More than 40,000 pounds of pasta were donated and sorted at A.C. Moore at Patriot Place to be added to the vital food packages. A farmers market with fresh produce and dairy items have also been made available to veterans at Gillette Stadium. Additionally, more than 30 food banks and shelters have benefited from the donations distributed at Gillette Stadium.
The Food4Vets program has been so successful – and so in demand – at Gillette Stadium that the Kraft family and Massachusetts Military Support Foundation have extended their efforts across the region to both veterans and others in need of nutritional support during this challenging time.
The Patriots truck has delivered meals throughout New England, including stops in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York. On Saturday, May 9, the Patriots truck delivered 1,000 vital food packages, equating to 84,000 meals, to the city of Chelsea, Massachusetts, which has been hit especially hard by the virus. These meals were available for pick up at the local food distribution center and were delivered to others who were quarantined in their homes.
Additionally, vital food boxes were delivered to all 300 Gold Star families in Massachusetts in honor of Mother's Day. Each box included a Mother's Day card and a pink flower, the symbol of a mother's enduring love. A&A Metro limousine service assisted with the deliveries.
On Friday, May 8, Gillette Stadium hosted its first ever Soup-R Bowl to support 1,000 local veterans and families. As an extension of the Food4Vets program, recipients were provided a special tailgate package containing ready-to-heat soup, crackers, salad fixings, eggs, cheese, corn, potatoes, milk, orange juice, fruit and more without ever leaving the comfort of their cars. Volunteers loaded each vehicle curbside, ensuring families in need could receive food in a safe and efficient manner. These meals were provided courtesy of the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation and the Kraft family. A second Soup-R Bowl is being planned for Friday, June 12.
The current COVID-19 crisis has caused a tremendous shortage in blood donations. To assist in the collection of donations, the Kraft family began hosting a series of blood drives on April 13 at Gillette Stadium. The donations have been made in support of the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women's Hospital. Blood donations are being taken three days a week and the turnout has been so successful, they have extended the blood drives through the end of June. The American Red Cross also hosted blood drives on April 28 and April 30 at Gillette Stadium as part of a nationwide activation. Every person who gives a pint of blood or platelets during these blood drives is receiving a $25 gift card from the Kraft family in appreciation for their donation.
The culinary and hospitality team at Gillette Stadium donated more than $100,000 in frozen food and paper products to local food banks and homeless shelters in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The Hockomock Area YMCA's and local senior centers also received donations. Ponchos were also donated to shelters to assist as PPE at their testing sites.
Messages of Support for Doctors, Nurses and Teachers
The Kraft family and New England Patriots have found creative ways to express their appreciation to those stepping up in the midst of this crisis, especially healthcare workers and teachers. To celebrate National Doctor's Day on March 30, Gillette Stadium used its video boards inside and outside the stadium to display messages of appreciation to doctors and medical professionals. One message read: "Some superheroes wear capes. Ours wear scrubs." To celebrate National Nurses Week (May 6 – May 12), the Patriots provided more than 1,000 Patriots hats to local hospitals. Meals were also provided to the nurses working at the blood drive at Gillette Stadium. On Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 – May 8), the Patriots showed their appreciation to local teachers through multiple video calls and messages.
The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon has offered a variety of educational resources to students, families and teachers during this pandemic. One major education initiative has been the Read Between the Lines program. This reading blitz encourages students to continue reading while they're at home. The program launched in late March and ran through early May, asking students to complete a series of reading challenges. Current and former Patriots players, Revolution players and Patriots cheerleaders have participated in this initiative by sharing videos of themselves reading children's books. The Patriots education initiatives have also involved a variety of writing challenges and engaging resources to enhance at-home learning for students and teachers alike.
Hope & Comfort is a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that provides personal care products to families in need and those experiencing homelessness. The Kraft family, Patriots Foundation and the Revolution Charitable Foundation teamed up to make a $25,000 donation to support their efforts during the pandemic. Ocean State Job Lot is also supporting their efforts and assisting with purchases.
The Kraft Care Zone van continues to provide healthcare services to those in need. In addition, patients who utilize the van's services also receive a gift card from the Kraft family to ensure that they are able to receive a hot meal during this challenging time. More than 250 gift cards have been donated.
Patriots players and coaches have stepped up in big ways to help the New England community and their hometown communities during the COVID-19 crisis. Between providing meals to healthcare workers, financially supporting those in need, donating medical supplies, sending messages of encouragement and numerous other initiatives, their championship efforts have extended from coast to coast, positively impacting thousands of people in the process.
Here are just a few of their stories:
Patriots players pitch in to help communities in face of COVID-19
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