FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (Dec.16, 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."
Richard Jacobs from South Dartmouth, Mass. was selected as a 2021 Patriots Difference Maker of the Week for his commitment to Angel Flight Northeast. 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.
Since 1996, Angel Flight Northeast has donated more than 100,000 free flights to provide patients with access to specialized medical care that is not readily available in their area. The nonprofit primarily covers all six New England states, plus New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, but has also conducted cross-country and international flights. Since its inception, Angel Flight Northeast has flown patients more than 14 million miles.
The nonprofit relies on volunteer pilots, like Richard Jacobs, to offer their services free of charge to ensure that distance is never an obstacle for those who need life-saving medical care. Richard has been with the organization since its inception, completing more than 800 flights. He is always on call and is ready to donate his time, aviation fuel and airplane to help those in need.
Richard has conducted many flights during the pandemic, ensuring patients arrive safely and under the best health conditions. He provides compassion and essential support to many during some of their darkest days.
Over the past 25 years, Angel Flight has steadily grown, recruiting hundreds of pilots to support their efforts. Richard has been an instrumental part of that growth and continues to be one of the nonprofit's go-to pilots.
"The last thing they have to worry about is how to get to their treatment," Richard said. "To save one life is to save the world."
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.