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{ Read a collection of stories published in media outlets across the country about players' community outreach efforts this Thanksgiving. }
Author: NFL Players Association Posted: 11/21/2012

For Immediate Release
November 21, 2012
Contact: Jilane.Rodgers@nflplayers.com


A selection of clips highlighting ways players are impacting their communities


LaMarr Woodley Foundation, First Ward applications for holiday baskets

Michigan Live, Bob Johnson, November 8, 2012

Two organizations are teaming up to help local families who are looking for a little relief this holiday season. First Ward Community Center is accepting applications for Christmas baskets on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 4 – 7 p.m. First Ward, which began in the 1930s, helps families in the community with finding employment, housing and social activities. Christmas baskets this year will be filled with food – including a turkey, said student intern Deadra L. Bond. While there, residents can also sign up for LaMarr Woodley Foundation’s Thanksgiving baskets. “So far we’ve got maybe 200 people that have come out so far for the LaMarr Woodley baskets, but we are looking to get 500 people for those baskets,” Bond said.

Darius Butler Foundation “Giving Thanks by Giving”

Press Release

Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler and Carolina Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble are hosting the fourth annual “Thanksgiving Dinner Giveaway” on Tuesday, November 20, 2012 in Coral Springs, Florida. The two NFL players will be giving away Thanksgiving dinners to South Florida families at 4:30pm at Coral Springs Charter School, 3205 North University Drive, Coral Springs, FL 33065

Happy Thanksgiving from the NFLPA

YouTube, November 20, 2012

NFL rookies Rueben Randle (Giants), Robert Turbin (Seahawks), TJ Graham (Bills), Trent Richardson (Browns), Ryan Tannehill (Dolphins), Mohamed Sanu (Bengals) and Coby Fleener (Colts) share their best memories and favorite foods from Thanksgiving and wish all fans a happy holiday.

Giving back a way of life for Mike Adams

espnW, Neal Reid, November 9, 2012

Adams, a nine-year safety now in his first season with the Denver Broncos after stints in Cleveland (2007-11) and San Francisco (2004-06), and Gerald Hayes are using their status to give back to their community in a big way. Adams and Hayes, a linebacker who played for Arizona and San Diego until his release by the Chargers last year, created the Rising Stars Foundation in 2006 to benefit underprivileged children in their hometown. The foundation has made quite an impact in the community and has done so in a number of ways. From providing inner-city children with school supplies and educational scholarships to collecting nonperishable food items and raising money to help alleviate hunger in Passaic County, Rising Stars' initiatives can be seen far and wide. Adams said the foundation plans a Thanksgiving turkey drive and will also take part in a holiday gift program to provide presents to at-risk children in the area.

Arizona Cardinals’ safety Kerry Rhodes widens charity scope for the holidays

SYS-CON Media: November 14, 2012

All-Star Safety for the NFL's Arizona Cardinals, Kerry Rhodes (www.kerryrhodes.com) and his charity, The RHODES Foundation, is going beyond their normal charitable parameters of education by extending their delivery zone this 2012 holiday season. In an effort to assist the less fortunate of Mesa, AZ, The RHODES Foundation will be delivering lightly worn garments from Kerry's personal wardrobe, as well as new clothes and food to the men's homeless shelter, A New Leaf, as well as the shelter's La Mesita Family division. As a staunch believer in giving back to his community, Kerry Rhodes is graciously giving the New Leaf Shelter a catering company to host Thanksgiving, and will be making an appearance at the event.

Titans players ready for 7th Annual “Mission Possible”

Nashville.com: November 7, 2012

Launched in 2006, the Tracy Lawrence “Mission Possible” Turkey Fry has brought in close to 6,000 turkeys and provided more than 35,000 meals to help the Nashville Rescue Mission feed the homeless in Middle Tennessee. This year’s Turkey Fry is Tuesday, November 20th from 8 am to 5 pm in the parking lot of the Nashville Rescue Mission—located at 639 Lafayette Street, Nashville, TN. Tracy’s goal is to fry over 500 turkeys for the homeless and hungry during this year’s annual event. Tennessee Titans Rob Bironas, Daniel Graham, and Jordan Babinaeux have donated and prepared turkeys to the event and this year Tennessee Titan player Rob Bironas and the Tennessee Titan Cheerleaders will be on deck to support the cause.

Raven Jameel McClain helps get coats to needy kids

The Baltimore Sun, Jill Rosen, November 13, 2012

Thanks to Raven Jameel McClain, about 300 children around Baltimore will have a new, warm winter coat. The inside linebacker made a deal with Wal-Mart where in exchange for a couple off-season appearances at the store, they'd provide the gear for needy kids. This afternoon, kids from area Boys and Girls clubs will head to the Port Covington Wal-Mart to shop for their coats. They'll also be getting hats, gloves and scarves, provided by a donor who wishes to remain anonymous.

Cardinals players, staff serve early Thanksgiving meals

Ktar.com, Christina Estes, November 20, 2012

Several Arizona Cardinals players traded the football field for the dining room. For the eith year, the team has participated in the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s early Thanksgiving dinner. Kicker Jay Feely has been serving turkey with all the trimmings since he joined the team three years ago. “It puts things in perspective,” Feely said. “When you lose six games in a row you start thinking just about football and then you come to something like this and you realize there are a lot more important things.” His teammates Sam Acho and Mike Leach also served up meals with a smile.

TCU & NFL player “Gives Thanks” with food giveaway

CBS DFW, November 19, 2012

Thousands of North Texans will be have a hot Thanksgiving meal, thanks to a local football star’s big event. The food giveaway in Fort Worth had cars on Alton Road lined up for blocks, near South Hills Avenue just south of Texas Christian University. Volunteers were scheduled to wrap up the event at 5 p.m. but there were still cars in line and workers were busy loading boxes into buses and cars. Albertson’s teamed up with former TCU and NFL player Ladainian Tomlinson for the “Giving Thanks With LT” event and volunteers were very busy. Men and women handed out bags filled with everything needed for thanksgiving dinner – from whole turkeys to bottles of water. Tomlinson said he has done the event in cities all across the country. “We’ve been doing this program for over 10 years in San Diego, New York and now here in Fort Worth. And everywhere we’ve been we’ve had no problem giving out Thanksgiving dinners. And that tells you the kind of need that’s out there for these families.” More than 2,100 families received food at the event. Tomlinson said after seeing the response Monday he’ll hold another event in Fort Worth next year.

Jameel McClain hosts Thanksgiving dinner for families in need

ABC2.com, November 19, 2012

53 families are getting an early Thanksgiving meal tonight, hosted by Ravens linebacker Jameel McClain. This is the third year McClain has played host to the "53 Families Thanksgiving Dinner," who partners with the Salvation Army.  More than 300 people will be attending the dinner.  McClain will speak to the families about his life and how he made it to the NFL. All of the families will go home with a Thanksgiving Basket, which will include a turkey and all the trimmings. The number of families invited to the meal represents McClain's jersey number.

Baltimore Raven LaQuan Williams’ foundation hosts “A Need to Feed: Thanksgiving with Flavor”

Press Release

On November 20, 2012 The LaQuan Williams Foundation and Project Giveback will host The Need to Feed, a Thanksgiving dinner for Baltimore families living in homeless shelters, group homes, and low income communities. The dinner is an effort to support families who lack the resources or financial backing to enjoy this special time of giving. The evening will feature live musical entertainment, an exquisite Thanksgiving menu prepared by Chef Craig Curbeam, and the opportunity to meet some of the Baltimore Ravens most talented players.  The dinner will take place at Baltimore’s Downtown Cultural Center on Tuesday, November 20th from 6:00pm until 9:00pm. People that donate to the cause are entered to win two lower level tickets to the Ravens vs. Steelers game on December 2, 2012.

Harris Teeter, Holt brothers to assemble 2,000 harvest feast Thanksgiving bags for local community members

PRWeb: November 14, 2012

Monday, Nov. 19, 2012, Former NC State and NFL stars Torry and Terrence Holt will arrive at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to greet a Harris Teeter tractor trailer filled essential products for a traditional holiday feast. Harris Teeter is donating enough food and fixins for the Holt brothers and Harris Teeter associates to assemble 2,000 Thanksgiving dinner bags to be donated to the food bank’s partner agencies. After the bag assembly, the Holt Brothers and Harris Teeter associates will also make a stop at Homework Haven to personally distribute Thanksgiving dinner bags to children and their families who face the risk of going hungry.

Texans spread holiday cheer around Houston

NewsFix: November 13, 2012

Wide receiver Andre Johnson and cornerback Jonathan Joseph stopped by the Fifth Ward Church of Christ to handout Thanksgiving dinners, with all the trimmings, for 1,500 less fortunate families in the area. While Joseph and Johnson were busy passing out turkey day treats defensive end JJ Watt was in the principal’s office at the Briarmeadow Charter School. He’s not made this season’s naughty list. Brairmeadow entered the NFL PLAY 60 super school contest and they won! So, Watt stopped by to talk to students about the importance of good health and staying active. He also gave them a $10K NFL PLAY 60 grant for the school’s health and wellness programs and equipment.

Earl Thomas to hold winter coat giveaway

BeaumontEnterprise.com, Avi Zaleon, November 13, 2012

The Earl Thomas Faith Family & Friends Foundation held a winter coat giveaway on Saturday November 17th from noon to 2 p.m. at the 6th Street Community Church of God in Christ, located at 1619 6th Street in Orange. The event included free food and music, in addition to giving away 200 free coats for kids in need. Last year, Thomas, a defensive back for the Seattle Seahawks and former West Orange-Stark standout, held a similar event, giving away turkeys in late November.

Former Buc Nece, volunteers deliver early Thanksgiving meals

Northeast News & Tribune, November 14, 2012

A foundation set up by former Tampa Bay Buccaneer linebacker Ryan Nece served an early Thanksgiving dinner for about 450 families Tuesday evening. The families, selected by local social services agencies, also took home boxes of food and hygiene products as part of the Power of Giving Thanksgiving Celebration. The Nov. 13 event at the University Area Community Center was sponsored by the Ryan Nece Foundation. Nece spoke before the dinner to about 175 volunteers from the Junior League of Tampa, University of South Florida, Berkley Prep and other organizations. "This is something near and dear to our hearts," he said. "It means a lot that you are giving of yourself to help."

NFL player treats 2000 to dinner

KMPH Fox26, Monty Torres, November 20, 2012

Hundreds of valley families will get to enjoy a hearty holiday meal this Thanksgiving, thanks in part, to a former Fresno State bulldog who now plays for the NFL. The Poverello House in downtown Fresno took delivery Monday 100 turkeys, 50 hams and cases of stuffing, potatoes, and all the holiday fixings, courtesy of Richard Marshall and his wife Jasmine. Marshall is a former Fresno State football player who now plays for the Miami Dolphins and Jasmine was a former member of the Fresno State Women's Basketball team. The donation is a major boost for the charity and the people it serves,  Poverello House Deputy Director Doreen Eley says. Poverello House currently serves 1,300 meals everyday to the poor and homeless of the community- 365 days a year. As for their donation Monday, Richard Marshall said, "Jasmine and I chose to donate to Poverello House because we are in the position to give at this point in our lives."  Marshall also went on to say, Fresno is a huge part of their lives; "No matter where we are this is our community and we want to help those in need any way we can."

Raiders team up with ACCFB

Raiders.com: November 12, 2012

The Oakland Raiders are teaming up with the Alameda County Community Food Bank to help their neighbors in need as the region braces for a spike in need during the winter and holiday season. A number of Raiders players will spend their lone day off during the week—the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving— visiting the food bank and assisting in the preparation of food items.

Harris Teeter, Jon Beason to assemble 2,000 harvest feast Thanksgiving bags for local community members

PRWeb: November 15, 2012

Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, Carolina Panthers middle linebacker Jon Beason will arrive at Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina to greet a Harris Teeter tractor trailer filled with essential products for a traditional holiday feast. Harris Teeter is donating enough food and fixins for Beason and Harris Teeter associates to assemble 2,000 Thanksgiving dinner bags to be donated to the food bank’s partner agencies.  After the bag assembly, Beason and Harris Teeter associates will also make a stop at YMCA Stratford to personally distribute Thanksgiving dinner bags to children and their families who face the risk of going hungry.

Lynch, Johnson will help brighten Thanksgiving for others

NFLPlayers.com, November 15, 2012

On Sunday, November 18, 2012 the families of Seattle Seahawks star Marshawn Lynch and former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star Josh Johnson will be handing out free turkeys in both Lynch’s and Johnson’s names to help the local community this Thanksgiving. Turkeys and side items will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis and will be accompanied by a letter from Lynch and Johnson. Phat Matt’s BBQ and Salvation Army will also be present serving food to those in attendance. KMEL will be present supporting the event from 2:30-3:30 pm.

Former NFL great Walter Jones hosting annual “Turkey Bowl” flag football tournament this weekend

Alabama.com, Mark McCarter, November 15, 2012

Walter Jones, the Huntsville resident and nine-time Pro Bowl selection, is again hosting the annual Walter Jones Turkey Bowl, a flag football tournament that benefits HEALS, Inc. HEALS, which provides health care for children from low-income families, was able to establish a dental clinic at Madison Crossroads with the proceeds from last year's event. The two-day tournament will be held at Milton Frank Stadium, involving 7-on-7 games. Along with the games, at 12:45 Saturday there will be a punt, pass and kick contest for youngsters, along with a frozen turkey toss. A kids' zone will be set from 10-4 on Saturday.

Trufant Family Foundation Thanksgiving basket food drive

Press Release: November 12, 2012

Former player Marcus Trufant’s foundation is hosting a Thanksgiving basket food drive in Tukwilia, WA. Non-perishable items for babies and children should be dropped off at the 9th Annual Bowling and Billiard Classic at ACME Bowl located at 100 Andover Parkway in Tukwila, WA. The times will be donated to a local food bank to help families of enlisted service men.

Needy families get a “Giant” Thanksgiving gift

Bed-StuyPatch.com, Paul Leonard, November 16, 2012

Shaun Rogers, a defensive tackle for the New York Giants, joined defensive lineman Shaun Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs and rapper Fabulous to help hand out free turkeys to needy families on Thursday, November 15th in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.

Lardarius Webb giving out meals in Aberdeen

AberdeenPatch.com, Sean Welsh, November 18, 2012

Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb has made a career of denying opposing quarterbacks and taking from them. Monday night, he'll be in Aberdeen—giving back. Webb will be at the Aberdeen branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County Monday night to provide Thanksgiving meals to families. Lardarius is also distributing Thanksgiving baskets to 400 Baltimore-area, single-parent families. The fourth annual event will be held at the Wbster Kendrick Boys & Girls Club. Lardarius Webb is also distributing Thanksgiving baskets to 400 Baltimore-area, single-parent families. The fourth annual event will be held at the Webster Kendrick Boys & Girls Club.

Ray Rice serves lunch to families and dinner to men’s shelter


Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice will serve lunch to families at Our Daily Bread, a hot meal program that provides more than a quarter million meals to the most vulnerable citizens of Baltimore City each year. Rice will also lead the seventh annual holiday dinner at the Helping Up Mission men’s shelter.  Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables, rolls and dessert will be a special meal for 275 men who live and visit the shelter. The Mission is a residential facility where Rice, joined by teammates, will serve dinner to the guests.

Ray Lewis distributes Thanksgiving baskets to Baltimore City Public Schools


Baltimore Ravens’ linebacker Ray Lewis will host his annual distribution of Thanksgiving baskets at REACH! Partnership, a secondary Baltimore City Public School. Reach! Partnership is an innovative college and career focused school for Baltimore’s middle and high school students. REACH! students “learn by doing” through curriculum that is relevant and through instructional approaches that foster their active participation.

Ed Reed distributes Thanksgiving meals to Baltimore community


On Friday November 16th, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed distributed Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings to 300 families of the SEED School.  Also on Tuesday November 20th, Reed will distribute turkeys to families of Booker T. Washington Middle School.

Fairley and Hill to host 2nd annual “Lions Den Dinner:

Detroitlions.com: November 9, 2012

The Detroit Lions’ Nick Fairley & Sammie Lee Hill will be teaming up with Covenant House Michigan for the 2nd annual “Lions Den Dinner,” a special Pre-Thanksgiving event for their residents. The private dinner will take place at Covenant House Michigan, located at 2959 Martin Luther King Blvd, on November 13, 2012 from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Fairley & Hill will be joined by their Lions teammates who will help serve food to the residents of Covenant House as well as spend quality time with the over 80 teens who reside there. The Lions Den Dinner sponsors include: Starters Bar & Grill, The Detroit Lions and Powerade.

Bengals players host third annual Toys for Tots shopping spree

Bengals.com, November 20, 2012

On Monday, November 26 at 6pm, Bengals players Leon Hall, Brandon Ghee, and Marvin Jones will join the Marine Toys for Tots in giving back to their community by hosting a shopping spree for kids in need at Toys“R”Us Kenwood. During the event, Bengals players, along with kids from the Children’s Home of Northern Kentucky (CHNK) and uniformed Marines, will help spread Christmas cheer as they shop for toys to provide to all the children at CHNK. After the toys are purchased, the Marines will load the toys into a truck outside. In 2011, the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation delivered over 55,640 toys to over 40,566 local children. With an 8.7% unemployment rate in the Cincinnati area, Toys for Tots anticipates an increase in requests from struggling families for toys. Without the help of Toys for Tots, many of this region’s children risk facing Christmas morning without a toy under the tree.

Kevin Williams to host turkey giveaway

Vikings.com, November 19, 2012

On Tuesday, November 20, Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams host the “Kevin Williams Turkey Giveaway” at Cub Foods located at 2850 26th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55406. Williams will distribute 250 turkeys to families in need from 10:00-11:00 a.m.  The event’s opening presentation will take place inside the store from 10:00-10:10 a.m. with remarks from local political leaders, dignitaries and Kevin Williams. Teammates scheduled to join Williams are: Jared Allen, Jerome Simpson, Michael Jenkins, Fred Evans, Antoine Winfield and others. Families from the following organizations will be the benefactor of Williams’ donation:  Urban Ventures, Park Avenue Social Services, Hiawatha PTO, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Division of Indian Work, St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, Dowling Urban Environmental Elementary School, Bethune Lutheran Church and Bethany Lutheran Church.

Redskins-Harris Teeter team up to feed 3,500 Prince George’s County families in need at the 10th Annual Harvest Feast

Extreme Redskins: November 14, 2012

Washington Redskins alumni players Roy Jefferson, Mike Bragg, Ravin Caldwell and Ed Simmons, Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation members, in addition to the Hogettes, Santa and over 200 area volunteers will assemble and distribute 3,500 whole turkeys and Thanksgiving food baskets to Prince George’s County residents in need on Tuesday, Nov. 20 from Noon – 5 p.m. at the 10th annual Redskins-Harris Teeter ‘Harvest Feast’ at FedExField. Since 2003, the Redskins have gifted over 818,600 pounds of packaged and fresh food and 285,500 pounds of turkey to families in need in our area.

Colts provide hunger relief

Colts.com: November 16, 2012

The Indianapolis Colts teamed up with Meijer and the Indiana Corn and Soybean Alliance to fight hunger. On Monday, November 12, 2012, the Indianapolis Colts provided 10 mothers from Coburn Place Safe Haven with a Meijer shopping spree to provide their families with food and supplies for the Thanksgiving holiday. Colts NT Josh Chapman and CB Isaiah Green made crafts with the children while the mothers shopped with a $200 gift card, courtesy of Meijer. This was the fifth consecutive year of this event, which took place at the Fishers Meijer. The participating mothers are currently served by Coburn Place, an organization that helps survivors of domestic violence and their families to heal and regain independence from abuse.

Dallas Cowboys serve annual early Thanksgiving meal at the Salvation Army in Dallas and Fort Worth

DallasCowboys.com: November 14, 2012

The Dallas Cowboys brought an early Thanksgiving feast Tuesday to more than 500 less fortunate men, women and children at two local Salvation Army service centers. For the first time, the Dallas Cowboys Rookie Club and rookie members of the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders served clients at The Salvation Army Mabee Social Services Center in Fort Worth while veterans of the team, including Miles Austin, Tony Romo, DeMarcus Ware and Jason Witten, simultaneously served patrons of The Salvation Army Carr P. Collins Center in Dallas.

5 Jets work turkey duty with Food Bank for NYC

NY Jets.com, John Holt, November 15, 2012

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching and the Hurricane Sandy recovery continuing around the tri-state area, five members of the New York Jets wanted to lend a hand. Linebackers Bart Scott and Garrett McIntyre, safety Yeremiah Bell, fullback Lex Hilliard and recent practice squad acquisition D.J. Bryant, all visited the Food Bank for New York City Warehouse in the Bronx on Tuesday. The players’ first task was to unload 100-plus turkeys and all the fixings from the Food Bank’s 54-foot tractor trailer. When that was complete, they repacked food items into boxes to send out to families in need.

Bears team up with Chase to tackle hunger

Bears.com, Larry Mayer, November 15, 2012

The Chicago Bears and Chase, the bank of the Bears, have joined forces to host a food drive during the month of November benefiting the Greater Chicago Food Depository and those in need. The food drive goal is to collect a minimum of 20,000 pounds or enough meals for approximately 26,000 people this holiday season. The drive kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony conducted by Chicago Bears alum and Pro Bowl lineman, James "Big Cat" Williams, with Chase and Chicago Food Depository executives of a replica of the iconic Chase Tower Chicago made of cans. The replica is constructed of 9,000 cans of food that will be donated at the end of the food drive.

Former NFL players aid victims of Hurricane Sandy

AARP Blog, Nolan Harrison III, November 17, 2012

Feed The Children, Lowe’s, the NFL Players Association and others came together to bring aid and lift the spirits of the victims of Sandy. Feed the children partnered with Lowes home-improvement stores at three different locations, Tom’s River New Jersey, Rosedale New York, and Bay Shore New York, sending semi-tractor trailers of disaster relief supplies to help victims in need. Former NFL players Scott Davis, Christian Peter, Keith Elias, and Damian Gregory were all on hand to assist in delivering the supplies to the community.

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