FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The New England Patriots players announced that their Social Justice Fund has selected five local organizations as the beneficiaries of $450,000 in grants for the work they are doing in the areas of social justice and equality. Each organization will receive $90,000 from the players' social justice fund. The money was raised through individual player donations. Every dollar donated was matched by the Kraft family. The remaining balance in the players' social justice fund will be utilized to surprise individuals in need with emergency funding in the coming months.
"There are many organizations that do amazing work in the area of social justice," said Patriots team captain Devin McCourty. "As individuals, there is a lot we can do to assist. But, if there is anything football teaches us, it's that we can accomplish much more collectively as a team. The goal of the social justice fund is to work together as a team to help effect change in our community by providing support to these organizations. The more you learn about the work they are doing, the more you want to support their efforts."
For the past 60 years, Patriots players have been ambassadors in their communities, donating time and resources to positively impact the lives of others. Individually, many players have used their personal and professional platforms to raise awareness for causes that are meaningful to them. Seeking new ways to inspire change and advocate for equality, the players formed a social justice fund in 2018 to collectively provide support for organizations focusing on programs and initiatives that reduce barriers to opportunity, including in the areas of education, economic development, police relations and criminal justice. Monies donated to the fund during the 2018 season were awarded to five local organizations last December.
This season, five additional organizations were selected whose missions are aligned with areas of greatest concerns to the players. Each organization received surprise phone calls from Patriots players to inform them that their organizations would be receiving $90,000 grants. Since December 2018, the Patriots have donated nearly $900,000 to the players' social justice fund to support the efforts of local organizations.
The five Boston-based non-profit organizations selected for this season's $90,000 grants are listed below.
Boston Healthcare for the Homeless (BHCHP) provides or assures access to the highest quality health care for over 11,000 homeless individuals in the greater Boston area annually. BHCHP provides access to comprehensive health care ranging from preventative dental care to cancer treatment. The organization addresses unique health-related needs resulting from conditions like exposure to extreme weather, trauma, violence, chronic illness, persistent mental illness and substance abuse.
Boston Uncornered redirects the entrepreneurial, networking and leadership skills of gang-involved youth from violence and incarceration to educational empowerment and employment opportunities with family-sustaining wages. The organization provides the support and expectations to move youth from the "corners" to college.
CommonWealth Kitchen provides shared kitchens combined with business assistance to help aspiring entrepreneurs build food companies, create jobs, improve healthy food access and strengthen the region's food economy.
Roca helps high-risk young people leave the streets and gangs and go to work. Through relentless outreach, tailored programming and collaboration with community partners, Roca helps young people transform their lives.
We Belong was founded by two Boston Police Department officers to help at-risk Boston teens gain key leadership skills that allow them to be productive members of their communities. The program participants come from low-income communities plagued with violence, gangs, drugs and other obstacles that push them away from their success.