FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Jan. 8, 2021) – Ten years ago, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation introduced a season-long theme called Celebrate Volunteerism. The main focus of the initiative was to recognize community volunteers and to promote the importance of volunteering. Since its inception, New England Patriots players, coaches, alumni, cheerleaders and fans have donated hundreds of thousands of hours to giving back to their New England communities.
Throughout the 2020 season, the foundation will continue its Celebrate Volunteerism initiative by teaming with nonprofit organizations to educate fans about the need for volunteering, highlighting deserving volunteers from across the region and seeking to inspire Patriots fans to become lifelong volunteers. The foundation will present a weekly "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week" award, which recognizes deserving volunteers who go above and beyond to support their New England communities.
"This has been a challenging year, unlike anything we've experienced in our lifetimes," said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. "Charitable organizations have been called upon to support more children and families than ever before. We admire all of the hardworking volunteers that have stepped up and helped these nonprofits to continue to serve those in need. Through this Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, we will shine a light on some of these outstanding volunteers, make a donation to their respective charity and encourage our fans to get involved."
Dr. Robin Abramson from South Burlington, Vt. was selected as a 2020 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for her commitment to the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington. As part of this recognition, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation will be making a $5,000 donation to support the nonprofit. She is the 15th and final honoree of the 2020 season.
For more than 10 years, Dr. Abramson has served on the board of directors for the Boys and Girls Club of Burlington. She is currently serving as the board president and is a leader on the development team, managing more than 35 volunteers for fundraising initiatives.
Dr. Abramson has been actively involved with the club's early promise academic improvement program. She tutors many club members across a wide range of educational subjects, ensuring students stay on track. Dr. Abramson developed a strong relationship with six female middle school students, all of whom fled to the United States as refugees after experiencing terrible events as children. She became an incredible source of support to the students – guiding them through school assignments and enjoying lunch, shopping and other recreational activities together. She also looks forward to having them join her family for Thanksgiving each year.
"The Burlington Boys and Girls Club's focus on education was an important part of why I became involved in the Club," said Dr. Abramson. "When I began serving on the Boys and Girls Club board, I also started tutoring teen Club members. It was great getting to know the kids the Club served. A small group of young women consistently came for homework help on the days I volunteered, and, over time, I became close with them."
Thanks to Dr. Abramson's mentorship, each of these young women have overcome obstacles in their lives and are now thriving. All six students are currently enrolled in college and receiving continued support from Dr. Abramson, who continues to offer guidance and share her network of business contacts to help the students find the right career path. She is deeply committed to ensuring that all of her mentees reach their full potential.
"It has been wonderful for me to share their academic and life successes with them," said Dr. Abramson. "I feel like they are each part of my family. It has been my privilege to get to know with these young women. They bring me much joy and help to keep me young."
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation encouraged fans to show their support for local charitable organizations and to nominate a volunteer for the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award. To get involved, visit www.patriots.com/community.