FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Nov. 14, 2020) – 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."
Sixteen year old Isabel Povey from Hampstead, N.H. was selected as a 2020 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for her commitment to Seeds of Hope and the New Hampshire Food Bank. As part of this recognition, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation will be making a $5,000 donation to Seeds of Hope.
Isabel started volunteering in her hometown of Hampstead at age seven and has become a force for good, serving with multiple organizations through food drives, coat drives, crop walks and charity events. Over the past three years, Isabel has been growing the scope of her efforts and recruiting new volunteers while leading high impact service projects. On Saturday mornings, you'll find her sorting, packing food boxes and helping the NH Food Bank distribute donations. On Sunday, she volunteers at mobile or local food pantries while helping secure donations to Tag Out Hunger.
When she learned that demand at the NH Food Bank had tripled in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she quickly organized a virtual "Povey Power 5K" on Global Youth Service Day to raise needed funds. She recruited more than over 80 participants and raised over $4,200 in one week. Those funds helped to provide 8,400 meals for the NH Food Bank.
Beyond her work in New Hampshire, she has also created an international nonprofit called Seeds of Hope that delivers vegetable seeds to schools, orphanages and churches in Africa, Pakistan, Haiti and Tonga. She visits Girl Scout Troops and after school programs locally to teach elementary aged students how to grow and share. She has already volunteered more than 1,300 hours in 2020 and shows no signs of slowing down.
"I am so thankful to the Kraft family and the Patriots Foundation for this recognition and for allowing me to spread even more hope with this donation," said Isabel. "The need is unprecedented right now so this will make a huge impact for local families. Most of all, I am grateful for this opportunity to show people young and old that we have the power to make a difference, because from the smallest of seeds grow the mightiest of trees."
The Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation encourage 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.