The New England Patriots have always supported local foster care initiatives.
All season, players have hosted community events showing love to these children, including last week, when two hosted special parties for children and their foster families at Gillette Stadium.
For captain Matthew Slater, it's especially personal.
"This, first of all, means a lot to my family and me to be able to do this," the 16-year veteran said Monday night at the Slater Family Holiday Party.
"For us, the origins of this whole thing started with my mother-in-law, who was in foster care as a child, and really can testify to how foster parents can make a huge difference and then also can testify to the things that those kids have to go through. So that's where our passion for this came from."
The Slater family invited 30 children from local foster care organizations Hopewell and Wonderfund. The youth enjoyed games, cookie decorating, taking photos with Santa Claus, and more.
It was a team effort, according to Slater, to spread cheer and ensure no one feels forgotten this season.
"My wife (Shahrzad) is really the brains of everything you see here tonight," Slater said.
"She's worked so hard, and there's so many great volunteers and families and support that have helped us. Just to be able to make this happen for them during the holidays -- hopefully, they feel seen, loved, heard, and happy to be here."
Teammates Hunter Henry and Trent Brown hosted similar events last week at Gillette Stadium, supporting local organizations like Communities for People and Society of the Prevention for Cruelty to Children, respectively.