FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Dec. 30, 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."
Nancy Vitorino of Attleboro Falls, Mass. was selected as a 2021 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for her commitment to Foster Forward in East Providence, R.I. 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.
Foster Forward's mission is to empower lives impacted by foster care. The nonprofit ensures all children and youth impacted by foster care have safe, healthy, and nurturing families. They continuously innovate to provide proven programs that engage, naturally supports and promotes healthy development.
Nancy has played an instrumental role as a volunteer for the organization. She sorts and organizes donations and puts them out on the display for foster families and the youth that participate in the various programs. She is very comfortable talking to the families, playing with the children and assessing their needs during each visit. Nancy truly enjoys meeting the families and youth we serve and is always eager to help out when she sees a need.
Nancy goes above and beyond in every way possible. As a talented sewer, she has been known to create customized bags for children. She also makes cloth dolls that are a more accurate representation of the population served by Foster Forward. Nancy is a fierce advocate for the organization, serving as a key solicitor and volunteer recruiter.
"I love volunteering. It empowers me to know that I am a driving force initiating a positive change in my community," said Nancy. "I help out at Foster Forward's storefront sorting, organizing and hanging donations. I have also sewn masks, biliary bags, and made dolls."
In addition to her weekly volunteer shifts with Foster Forward, Nancy is a mother to three teenagers, volunteers at a local animal shelter, mentors a young girl, works a full-time job and recently completed her master's degree at Harvard. There is no job too big or too small for Nancy and she brings a positive energy to everything she does.
"This recognition is huge," said Nancy. "I am beyond thrilled to shine the light on such a terrific resource as Foster Forward. They do such phenomenal work. They are integrated within the foster community and put the children at the heart of everything that they do.
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.