FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Oct. 14, 2021) – Throughout the 2021 season, the Kraft family and the New England Patriots Foundation will recognize 17 local volunteers with the "Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award." The honorees will be celebrated for going above and beyond to support nonprofit organizations in our New England communities.
As part of this recognition, the foundation will present a $5,000 donation to the nonprofit organization represented by each honoree. The Patriots Difference Makers will participate in a special year-end celebration and receive a pair of tickets to attend the Patriots final regular-season home game on Jan. 2 against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
"We are excited to once again recognize local volunteers with our Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award," said Josh Kraft, president, New England Patriots Foundation. "Each of these honorees has their own unique story of community service and we are proud to shine a light on the tremendous work they are doing. We would like to thank all of this year's Patriots Difference Makers for helping to build stronger New England communities."
Kenny Ouellette from Burlington, Mass. was selected as a 2021 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for his commitment to People Helping People. 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.
For the past 40 years, People Helping People has been serving individuals and families in Burlington, ensuring they have basic needs including food and utilities. Growing up in a large family that experienced food insecurity, Kenny wanted to help those experiencing a similar situation.
Kenny has been volunteering at the nonprofit since 2016, providing weekly support as a volunteer for their food distribution programs. He has guided clients through the food pantry, helping them to select items and load up their vehicles. Kenny makes sure the pantry remains well-stocked at all times with fresh produce, dairy and meat.
He is the go-to guy for all necessary food pickups and delivers meals to families that are unable to visit the nonprofit. Over the past few years, Kenny has helped run the nonprofit's meal program for kids. He helps to provide breakfast, lunch and snacks to children who receive free or reduced lunch at school.
"I'm honored to be acknowledged by the Patriots organization," said Kenny. "I mean, of course I love the Patriots, but I've also always admired what the Kraft family does for the community."
Kenny is also known as the handy man. From assembling shelving units to moving refrigerators to building ramps at the facility, Kenny continues to go above and beyond to ensure that the nonprofit continues to provide essential services to individuals and families in need.
During the pandemic, the nonprofit's client base increased by 40 percent and the kids program increased by 300 percent. Kenny remained steadfast in his commitment to the nonprofit, volunteering full-time to ensure their doors stayed open and securing additional food and storage space to meet the increased demand.
"To be honored for something I love to do is pretty cool," said Kenny. "I'm thankful to have been able to help."
The Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award is part of the foundation's Celebrate Volunteerism initiative, designed to educate fans about the need for volunteering, highlight deserving volunteers from across the region and inspire Patriots fans to become lifelong volunteers.
This marks the 11th season that the Kraft family and the Patriots Foundation has presented their Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award to volunteers from all across New England. Since its inception, 150 individuals have received this award and more than $675,000 has been donated to local nonprofit organizations.
To learn more about the program or to nominate a volunteer for the Patriots Difference Maker of the Week Award, visit www.patriots.com/community.