Gillette Stadium is First Large-Scale Vaccination Site in Northeast
In partnership with CIC Health and Governor Charlie Baker, Gillette Stadium opened on January 14, 2021, as the first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site in the northeast. Gillette Stadium is operating seven days a week with thousands receiving vaccinations daily. Following Massachusetts' phased vaccine rollout plan, Gillette Stadium was honored to provide a safe location to expedite the vaccination of first responders and healthcare workers in its early weeks of operation, and is excited to now welcome applicable residents throughout the Commonwealth.
Early in the pandemic, when personal protective equipment was in dangerously short supply, the Kraft family 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 2020 to pick up 1.2 million masks that Governor Charlie Baker had acquired. Robert Kraft had hundreds of thousands of those masks delivered to New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic at the time, as well as Rhode Island, and 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.
Kraft Family Provides 76 Healthcare Heroes a Once-in-a-Lifetime Trip to Super Bowl LV
Ten months after sending the Patriots plane to China to secure and retrieve desperately needed PPE for healthcare workers, the Kraft family was once again moved by a desire to support the frontline heroes who have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic. On February 7, the Kraft family provided 76 vaccinated healthcare workers the trip of a lifetime to attend Super Bowl LV in Tampa, including round-trip travel on the Patriots team plane. The all-expenses paid trip included a sendoff from Boston Logan Airport with Governor Charlie Baker, Jonathan Kraft and Matthew Slater, a meet-and-greet with Robert Kraft upon arrival in Tampa, photos on the Gillette Stadium field, a complimentary two-night stay at the Renaissance at Patriot Place and tickets to the exclusive TikTok Tailgate Concert featuring Miley Cyrus. The mission of this trip was two-fold: to recognize and thank a representative group of the countless healthcare superheroes in New England, and to celebrate and spread the important message of getting vaccinated.
Gillette Stadium Serves as 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 for first responders and essential workers in April 2020. The testing site was available to state and municipal police and fire personnel, municipal EMS and PSAP personnel, Massachusetts National Guard on active duty and correction officers, as well as those working in essential businesses. Throughout April and May, more than 8,000 frontline and essential workers were tested at the drive-through site, which helped alleviate the burden on hospitals and medical facilities that were providing tests to the general public.
Gillette Stadium Hosts Series of Blood Drives
The COVID-19 crisis has caused a tremendous shortage in blood donations. To assist in the collection of donations, the Kraft family hosted more than 45 blood drives from April to July 2020 at Gillette Stadium in support of the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham & Women's Hospital.
The Kraft family is eager to help meet this need again, with plans to host additional blood drives at Gillette Stadium again in February and March 2021.
Robert Kraft purchases Chrome Books for Boston Public School students
Immediately following the closure of the Boston Public School system in March 2020, 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 remote learning.
More than 5 Million Meals Packed and Distributed through Food4Vets
In early April 2020, 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. However, what began as a 10-day food drive transitioned into something much bigger, as the Kraft family and Mass. Military Support Foundation stepped up to continue meeting needs in response to the ongoing pandemic.
Since the program's inception, more than 5 million meals have been assembled and distributed throughout New England. The Kraft family provided space at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough to help meet this demand, where food was packed and then distributed to veterans and families in need. The Patriots truck also delivered meals throughout New England, including stops in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York, as well as a delivery of 84,000 meals to the city of Chelsea in May 2020 when the town was hit especially hard by the virus. Gillette Stadium also hosted multiple farmers markets with fresh produce and Soup-R Bowls with to-go containers of soup on chilly days through the Food4Vets program.
In total, more than 37.7 million pounds of food (packaged, frozen and fresh produce) have been donated to veterans, families in need, food banks and shelters throughout New England since the start of the pandemic through this partnership with the Food4Vets program.
Coats and Masks Donated to All 351 Cities and Towns in Massachusetts through Coats4Vets Program
In December 2020, with the coldest winter months approaching, the Kraft family, Patriots, Revolution and Mass. Military Support Foundation partnered together to provide essential cold-weather items throughout the commonwealth through the Coats4Vets initiative. The Kraft family also donated more than 350,000 face masks for this initiative. Police officers from all 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts were invited to Gillette Stadium to receive winter coats, 1,000 face masks, snacks and other essential items to distribute to those in need in their respective communities. The Kraft family hosted the drive-through event and provided coffee and a meal for each police officer, who then delivered these essential items for veterans in need and those living on the streets in their cities and towns.
Robert Kraft Donates Super Bowl Ring, Raising more than $1 Million for All In Challenge
Kraft donated his Super Bowl LI ring from the Patriots' unlikely comeback victory over the Falcons to the "All In Challenge," an initiative that rallied athletes and celebrities to offer up once-in-a-lifetime experiences and items to raise money for COVID-19 relief. 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.
The iconic ring quickly became the highest-earning item of the All In Challenge, finishing with a winning bid of $1,025,000. All proceeds went towards providing food to those in need – children, elderly and frontline heroes.
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. The winner and a guest will fly to a future 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 benefitted non-profits like Meals on Wheels, World Central Kitchen, No Kid Hungry and Feeding America.
In order to continue supporting our healthcare heroes and first responders following the delivery of 1.8 million masks from China, the Patriots and Revolution Foundations pledged 100 percent of all donations in the month of April 2020 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 were then distributed to hospitals, healthcare facilities and local boards of health across the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that MEMA 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. 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.
Shortly thereafter, Robert Kraft extended his giving to support the leading domestic violence support service organizations in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine. In total, Kraft donated $400,000 in the early days of the pandemic to support these organizations which offered vital help, safety and resources to those in need.
Kraft Family/Patriots Player Collaborative Fund Provides a Year of Internet for Students to Continue Online Learning
In August 2020, the Kraft Family/Patriots Player Collaborative Fund made a donation to Tech Goes Home, an organization that empowers communities to access and use digital tools to overcome barriers and advance lives. This donation provided a full year of free broadband Internet access to more than 680 families with students in the greater Boston area. This high-speed Internet access allows students to effectively participate in at-home learning during the pandemic. Homes with service are also able to meet other critical needs, like applying for jobs and accessing telehealth resources.
Kraft Family Supports Families Facing Homelessness and Eviction
In November 2020, the Kraft family made a $75,000 donation to FamilyAid Boston, the largest provider of private homelessness prevention funding in the greater Boston area. The donation allowed the organization to hire an additional case worker to effectively support families who will be facing eviction and homelessness as a result of the economic devastation created by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Patriots, Revolution and Patriot Place Donate Thousands of Masks, Hand Sanitizer Bottles to MBTA
In an effort to help keep riders safe in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Patriots, Revolution and Patriot Place teamed up to donate 2,500 face masks and 5,000 bottles of hand sanitizer to the MBTA in December 2020. Through the Ride Safer campaign, these items were distributed to busy stations at peak ridership times and were provided to help protect those who rely on public transit throughout greater Boston.
Patriots Adopt New England Schools During 2020 Season
In the Fall of 2020, the Patriots Foundation introduced a new Adopt-a-School program as a way to continue its commitment to supporting the youth of New England through educational initiatives that promote positivity, learning and healthy activity in classrooms. This program was created in response to the challenges students and teachers have faced as a result of the ongoing pandemic and the limitations on in-person visits for health and safety reasons. Patriots players partnered with schools across New England that they "adopted" throughout the season, virtually visiting with students to answer questions, play games, read, and most importantly, provide a positive and encouraging message. The Patriots cheerleaders also joined in on the fun, virtually reading to classes and taking students through healthy stretches and exercises.
Patriots Donate Masks to Schools Across New England
In partnership with AIS, a Lawrence, Mass.-based furniture manufacturer, the Patriots Foundation donated 5,000 masks to support six elementary and middle schools across New England involved in the Patriots' season-long Adopt-a-School program.
Throughout the 2020 NFL Draft, fans were given the opportunity to donate towards COVID-19 relief efforts and each club chose one organization to direct their allocated funds. The Kraft Family and the New England Patriots chose to donate to Meals on Wheels America, reaching programs in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire.
Donated New Clothing from Charles River Apparel to Local Charities
In June 2020, the Patriots, Revolution and Charles River Apparel teamed up to support local foster families, homeless shelters and domestic violence prevention organizations who are supporting people in critical need as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Charles River Apparel donated over 1,000 pieces of new clothing, which were distributed at Gillette Stadium to 10 local charities. These organizations also received CVS gift cards, fresh produce and toys to help assist the families they are serving.
Food, Paper Product and Other Donations
With the help of the culinary and hospitality teams at Gillette Stadium, the Kraft family 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 YMCAs and local senior centers also received donations. Ponchos were also donated to shelters to assist as PPE at their testing sites.
Additionally, the Kraft family and the Patriots Foundation provided more than $27,000 in gift cards to homeless shelters and domestic violence shelters all across New England.
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 also supported their efforts and assisted with purchases.
The Kraft Center, in partnership with Harvard T.H. Chang School of Public Health and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, received the National Institutes of Health award to increase COVID testing among underserved patients. The funding supports expanded COVID testing in partnership with community health centers and mobile outreach teams. Mobile COVID testing was launched on January 4, 2021 and has averaged over 300 patients per week. The mobile testing includes a partnership with DPV transportation company, a minority-owned company in Everett facing financial strain and potential staff layoffs during pandemic. COVID testing is offered on weekdays in the hard-hit communities of Chelsea, Charlestown, Lynn, Revere and Everett. The Kraft family's ongoing support of the Kraft Center and donations of food, gift cards, winter gear, masks, sanitizer, teddy bears and more have supported a robust COVID response and provided much needed resources and comfort to patients!
The Community Care in Reach mobile unit, powered by of the Kraft Center for Community Health at Massachusetts General Hospital, continues to provide free healthcare services to those hardest hit by the overdose epidemic, including offering COVID testing. This initiative is a partnership with Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, the Boston Public Health Commission, and the GE Foundation. Since its launch in January 2018, the mobile team has made over 12,500 contacts with people living with addiction. This initiative is made possible by the ongoing support of the Kraft family, whose generous donation of capital and supplies for the programs has helped facilitate ongoing success and expansion of the initiative. In partnership with Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, Tapestry, and UMass Memorial Medical Center, new Community Care in Reach sites are being launched in Brockton, Springfield, and Worcester in early 2021.
The Patriots Hall of Fame presented by Raytheon Technologies has offered a variety of educational resources to students, families and teachers during this pandemic. One major educational initiative was the Read Between the Lines program. This reading blitz encouraged students to continue reading while at home during the initial weeks of remote learning. The program, which ran from March through May 2020 asked students to complete a series of reading challenges. Current and former Patriots players, Revolution players and Patriots cheerleaders participated in this initiative by sharing videos of themselves reading children's books. The Patriots' educational initiatives have also involved a variety of writing challenges and engaging resources to enhance at-home learning for students and teachers alike.
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. During Teacher Appreciation Week (May 4 – May 8), the Patriots showed their gratitude for many teachers through social media, video messages and surprise visits in virtual classrooms.
Additionally, the Patriots, in partnership with Optum, dedicated their Week 16 game on Monday Night Football as "Health Care Hero Appreciation Night." Fans were able to submit photos of their favorite health care heroes, who were recognized with cardboard cutouts in the south end zone stands. Players wore shirts during pregame warmups with their faces and offered messages of thanks and support.
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:
Devin and Jason McCourty help Boston students gain internet access at home with donation
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