FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Oct. 7, 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."
Monica Brady-Myerov from Chestnut Hill, Mass. was selected as a 2021 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for her commitment to Hospitality Homes. 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.
Many individuals and families traveling to Boston for medical treatment simply do not have the means to stay in a hotel in Boston for one night, much less for weeks or months at a time. Hospitality Homes provides free and low-cost short-term housing in volunteer host homes and donated accommodations for patients, families and caregivers who travel to Boston for specialized medical care.
Monica began hosting patients and families traveling to Boston for medical treatment in 2010 when her children were young as a way to instill the importance of giving back. As they got older, she started hosting more families on a regular basis. Each year, more than 10 families are welcomed into Monica's home.
"My family volunteers to host families with Hospitality Homes because we are lucky to live near the best hospitals in the world and many families need access to the health care they provide but can't afford to stay in Boston and support their family members," said Monica. "When my children were young it was one of the few ways we could do a volunteer activity together as a family. My kids needed to see that we are lucky to have a room to spare and our health. Also meeting families from all across the country exposed them to many different people coming from many different backgrounds."
Monica treats the patients and family members staying at her house as part of her own family. In addition to providing a clean and comfortable room with bathroom and kitchenette, she can also be found going above and beyond by cooking meals, driving them to appointments and simply being a good listener.
This past year, Monica was a lifeline to a young mother and her baby girl for more than six months. She offered them a personal connection and daily support in lieu of a place to stay, due to pandemic restrictions. Monica provided home cooked meals, groceries, arranged visits outside the hospital and even dropped off cupcakes and a personalized baby book for the family.
"We get so much love in return for providing them with a safe, clean space to sleep at a very difficult time in their lives," said Monica. "Sometimes we share a meal or a quick conversation, but mostly we are there to let them know someone cares about them in Boston when they are far from home and experiencing a medical crisis."
She is improving the lives of these patients and families every single day that they are in Boston and this connection and support continues long after treatment. Monica continues to check in with the families once they return home, welcomes them back for follow up appointments and has been known to send the families holiday gifts.
In addition to hosting, Monica regularly attends monthly brown bag lunches at Hospitality Homes, helping to bring together families and hosts. She participated in marketing sessions with the board of directors, offered support for fundraising endeavors and successfully recruited several other families to join the program.
"This recognition for me and my family means a lot," said Monica. "I want others to know how rewarding it is to welcome a family into your spare room at a time when they need to focus on getting the best medical care for their loved ones. I hope others will see that hosting with Hospitality Homes is easy, safe and rewarding because they do the work of vetting and placing the families and they support us."
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.