The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation continued the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative with a special weekly focuses on "Environmental Volunteerism" (Oct. 14-20) and "Global Volunteerism" (Oct. 21-27).
The Foundation teamed with Green Schools, Mass Audubon and Recycle Computers for Cancer for the week of Oct. 14 for environmental week. As part of Patriots Community Tuesdays, on Oct. 16 Patriots long snapper Danny Aiken, quarterback Ryan Mallett and punter Zoltan Mesko teamed with volunteers from Mass Audubon and Horace Mann Educational Associates (HMEA), to help ready and beautify and ongoing Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuary project. Players participated in landscaping projects in preparation for this uniquely designed natural playground which provides children the chance to explore creativity and solve problems through natural elements. Later that day, former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk participated in an assembly for 10th and 11th graders at Nipmuc Regional High School to acknowledge the school's efforts with Green Schools. He presented awards to the Green Schools student ambassador, Leigh Hamlett, and Superintendent Joe Maruszczak. Green Schools is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to create greener and healthier learning environments through education, awareness and action.
That Wednesday, Oct. 24, Patriots wives and significant others including Wendy Kraft, wife of Executive Vice President of The Kraft Group Dan Kraft, Carolyn Kraft, wife of The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Joshua Kraft, Anna Welker, wife of wide receiver Wes Welker, Bianca Wilfork, wife of Vince Wilfork, Chantel Mayo, wife of linebacker Jerod Mayo, and an additional 15 members of the Patriots Women's Association greeted guests and prepared and served lunch to women in need at the Women's Lunch Place in honor of Myra Kraft. During the visit they donated toiletries and additional items as well as assembled gift bags for the Women's Lunch Place's upcoming Halloween party.
The following day, former Patriots players Eric Alexander and Ilia Jarostchuk, along with Patriots players wives and significant others joined nearly 30 volunteers from Lowe's, NRG and the New England Patriots staff for a one-day home refurbishing project that ensured safety, security, warmth and independence for Mrs. Rice, and elderly, economically disadvantaged homeowner in Mattapan, Mass.
During the week of Oct. 21, the Foundation teamed with Partners in Health, Grassroots Soccer and Earthwatch Institute for global volunteerism week. That Tuesday, Oct. 23, former Patriots running back Kevin Faulk and New England Revolution defender Chris Tierny teamed with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley for the annual Hometown Huddle, hosting more than 175 youth from various New England after school programs in an afternoon of gardening projects and obstacle courses. The event was in cooperation with the Patriots' Celebrate Volunteerism week-long focus on global giving and volunteerism in recognition of the Patriots upcoming game in London on October 28. As part of the afternoon's activities, children enjoyed internationally-themed snacks and planted a garden. In addition, they participated in an interactive obstacle course with each station featuring a theme from the seven continents around the globe. In a special presentation as part of the week-long focus on volunteerism around the globe, Faulk and Tierny honored Lucky Mfundisi, a Grassroot Soccer volunteer who works to prevent HIV/AIDS in South Africa. During the presentation, they presented an honorary medal and autographed football while skyping live. Mfundisi also taught the children in attendance how to say "Stay active, eat healthy" in his native language Co-Sa. Hometown Huddle has been a partnership between United Way and NFL Since 1999, with NFL teams across the country participating in a variety of hands-on community service projects, known collectively as Hometown Huddle. United Way of Mass Bay continues to work with Matthew Slater to recruit education volunteers as the Patriots' representative of Team NFL/United Way.
With this special focus on volunteerism, The Kraft family and the Foundation will highlight volunteerism by teaming with numerous nonprofits, educating fans about the need for volunteering, highlight deserving volunteers in the region and inspiring Patriots fans to become lifelong volunteers. For more information, to pledge volunteer hours, nominate a "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week," to submit photos of volunteer work or to participate in an upcoming collection drive click here.