Teams give back to community on their 'day off'
Teams across the NFL will continue the tradition of 'NFL Community Tuesdays,' this seasons as players spend their only day off getting active in their communities. From school visits to fitness activities, food drives to literacy events, players, coaches, and executives will spend their Tuesdays throughout the season helping those in need, and thanking fans for their support.
"Our players recognize the importance of community service," said Commissioner Roger Goodell. "From our PLAY 60 youth fitness campaign to our longtime partnership with the United Way, we support our fans throughout the season and beyond. We applaud our players and teams for doing their part to improve their communities on a weekly basis."
Teams will participate during the following events during the week of Sept. 14-20. Unless indicated otherwise, all events will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 15:
Arizona Cardinals -- Receiver Jerheme Urban will make a special visit to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix to spend time with children. Cardinals players and Big Red, the team mascot, will read to children at a local elementary school in Tempe while they enjoy milk and cookies as part of the SRP/Safeway Milk and Cookies program. Defensive back Michael Adams will visit a Tempe school to take part in a Gatorade Jr. Training Camp activity with local students, as part of the NFL's PLAY 60 campaign to promote youth fitness. Guard Deuce Lutui will spend the evening with local youth football players from National Youth Sports Youth Football, encouraging them and signing autographs.
Atlanta Falcons -- In support of the Falcons First Down for Fitness program, players and cheerleaders will visit Hambrick Elementary School. Players will participate in PE class with 4th and 5th grade students. In addition, some players will spend the day at the Falcons practice facility playing video games with military personnel overseas in the Middle East via Webcam, joined by family members of the soldiers.
Chicago Bears -- The Bears School Outreach program will kick-off for the 2009 school year when middle linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer and receiver Earl Bennett visit Jordan Community School. Each Tuesday during the football season, Chicago Bears players will visit a school within the Chicago Public School System. Other Bears players will join middle school students to write letters to members of the military. Running back Matt Forte will spend the day working with Staples to spread their word on their "Dream Park Challenge with the Bears" program, which aims to refurbish a local park.
Cleveland Browns -- Browns players will attend the team's 11th annual Taste of the NFL Celebrity Dinner, with all proceeds benefiting the Cleveland Foodbank. Every dollar raised at the dinner will help the Foodbank provide enough food for four healthy meals (9/14). In addition, the Browns Women's Organization will hold their kickoff luncheon, featuring guest speakers from local charities who will inform the group about philanthropic opportunities throughout Cleveland.
Green Bay Packers -- Packers rookies will participate in the Green Bay Traffic Club Rookie Night, spending time with attendees during the dinner, answering questions, and signing autographs. The event benefits the Green Bay Traffic Club, with funds used for scholarships to train mechanics. Packers players will join coach Mike McCarthy at a Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin Green and Gold Gala and assist in an awards presentation at the dinner (9/18).
Houston Texans -- Guard Mike Brisiel and cornerback Jacques Reeves will visit and play games with students at a local elementary school as part of a YMCA Back-to-School party. Wide receiver Jacoby Jones and Texans cheerleaders will visit with children at a local Boys & Girls club, teaching them football drills and cheerleading dances. Running back Steve Slaton will spend the evening signing autographs for fans at a local gym.
Indianapolis Colts -- Colts players will be visiting three Indianapolis-area schools to do a service learning project. At each school, players will work with students and a local veteran to assemble 400 care packages for wounded soldiers. In addition, tight end Jacob Tamme and Blue (Colts Mascot) will host a Family Reading Night at a local inner-city community center, together with Baker & Daniels law firm. The event will feature a free book giveaway and healthy snacks for local kids.
Jacksonville Jaguars -- Jaguars players will spend time with fans and sign autographs at a local Winn-Dixie as part of an annual tailgating event. Guard Maurice Williams will spend the evening with a local youth group, speaking with children about making good decisions in life and about what it takes to be successful. (9/14).
Kansas City Chiefs -- To kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, Chiefs players will host a special "Fútbol Americano" clinic at the Chiefs Training Facility for 50 youth from the Guadeloupe Center. Earlier this season, the team invited these same children to attend a Chiefs game and tour the field pregame.
New York Giants -- Running back Brandon Jacobs will join local business leaders and other celebrities at the Central Park Carousel. He will ride the carousel until he raises $5,000 in pledges for Easter Seals. Linebacker Bryan Kehl and wide receiver Domenik Hixon will visit a local school to encourage student to get active for 60 minutes a day as part of the Play 60 program-the day will include an assembly and a physical education class. Defensive end Justin Tuck will launch the second year of his RUSH for Literacy program, spending time with local children at the Scholastic Auditorium in Manhattan, encouraging them to read and giving them a free book each.
Pittsburgh Steelers -- The entire incoming Pittsburgh Public Schools class of 2013 is invited to Heinz Field for a kickoff event that welcomes them to high school. Coach Mike Tomlin, quarterback Charlie Batch and tackle Max Starks will address the students. Players will spend the day visiting with patients at Pittsburgh Children's Hospital as part of a local fundraising radiothon (9/18).
Washington Redskins -- Redskins players will take part in the Redskins Read program, the literacy initiative of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation. Three hundred students from DC, Virginia, and Maryland will visit the Redskins locker room at FedExField to listen to players read and receive free books.