As part of Huddle for 100 and the NFL’s Salute to Service campaign, the NFL and its partner, the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF) teamed up with The Mission Continues to host the League’s fifth national Huddle. Current and former players from the San Francisco 49ers, as well as Legends Donnie Edwards and Steven Jackson, worked alongside military veterans and local volunteers to spruce up the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department’s Alemany Farm. Volunteer activities were centered around fostering a sense of community among local veterans and civilians.
Over 120 local veterans and volunteers gathered at the farm to plant in the vegetable garden, clear excess brush, refresh recreational walkways, and beautify the site. These activities gave veterans the chance continue their service after service and lead other volunteers throughout the day helping to solve food insecurity while enhancing a valuable space for community food education.
Pete Abitante, NFL Vice President of Special Projects, kicked off the event with welcoming remarks. He also announced that the league is now up to 81 million volunteer minutes for the Huddle for 100 campaign, close to the program goal of 100 million minutes, thanks to fans, volunteers, and clubs across the country. Meg Harrell, Chief Program Officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation and Mary Beth Bruggeman, President of The Mission Continues, and Phil Ginsburg, General Manager of San Francisco Recreation and Park, also addressed the crowd.
"Veterans find purpose and social connection through volunteer service," said Bruggeman. “With their expertise and experience, veterans are uniquely positioned to lead alongside others to rebuild our neighborhoods, accelerate the work that’s already been started, empower underserved communities to feel seen and valued, and rekindle a sense of hope and optimism for the future."
The Huddle ended with a lunch for all volunteers with special recognition given to participating veterans. Veterans received handwritten cards thanking them for their service, created by NFL employees as part of the NFL’s Huddle for Heroes initiative. Anna Isaacson, Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility at the NFL said, “We were thrilled to bring our Salute to Service Huddle for 100 event to San Francisco and volunteer alongside veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country. Seeing veterans giving their 100 minutes alongside volunteers, NFL players, and Legends is awe-inspiring and we’re proud to have made a difference at Alemany Farm today.”