The Patriots spent Tuesday morning painting, planting and playing as part of the annual Hometown Huddle, the NFL's day of community service. Matthew Slater, Jabaal Sheard and Jordan Richards teamed up with United Way Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and paid a visit to Sarah Greenwood School in Dorchester, Mass., on Oct. 18.
Though it was a day off for the Patriots, Matthew, Jabaal, Jordan, Pat Patriot and cheerleaders were hard at work to better the play area of Sarah Greenwood School. Jabaal removed weeds and helped to beautify the landscape with fresh flowers and shrubs. Matthew sanded down and painted benches, which will be used to create an outdoor classroom space. Jordan ran relay races and tossed footballs with students in a Play 60 event.
To say the least, the students and the school's projects kept the players busy all morning, and that's the way they like it.
"Any time you get in the community and get into schools and work with kids, it's a beautiful thing. Kids are our future and they have so much joy. I had so much fun being out here today," Matthew said. "I think I learned as much from them as they do from me...My hands are green [from paint], so that means we had a good day."
In addition to landscaping the playground area, the Patriots led an assembly for the school to talk about the importance of education and exercise. Before the end of the assembly, the Patriots and United Way presented a check for $5,000 to the school to purchase gym equipment.
Matthew said emphasizing the importance of exercise to the students is a crucial part of their message.
"Today's youth, they don't necessarily get outside and play like we did when we were kids. They have access to a lot more things indoors. Those things are great, but you talk about living a healthy lifestyle and staying active, you got to get outside and play," Matthew said.
Teams around the league spent Tuesday teaming up with United Way, as they do every year, as a way to give back to NFL cities across the country. Jordan said this is a fun way to give back to New England and create a feeling of pride in local communities.
"It's about having fun, being proud of where you're from and doing your best to improve where you're from," Jordan said.
For more pictures from Tuesday's Hometown Huddle, check out the photo gallery below.
Patriots players, cheerleaders and Pat Patriot teamed with the United Way for a special visit to the Sarah Greenwood School in Dorchester on Oct. 18. The guests spoke to students about the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, presented a $5,000 grant to the school, led exercise stations and helped to makeover the school grounds.