Bucs players and staff, alongside Jabil and United Way Suncoast, spent a day giving back to the local community.
After a string of violence struck a vulnerable community in Tampa Bay, the Buccaneers connected with the City of Tampa to support the youth and residents affected in the area.
Through a 'Day of Service', the Buccaneers and Jabil gathered corporate and community influencers, the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation and United Way Suncoast, to assess the needs of the East Tampa community, while enhancing intervention programs in the existing neighborhood community center.
Volunteers included front office staff from the Buccaneers and Jabil, Cheerleaders, Captain Fear and over a dozen players including tight ends O.J Howard and Cameron Brate, wide receiver Adam Humphries and offensive tackles Caleb Benenoch and Donovan Smith.
Beyond a fresh coat of paint, the volunteers worked through the morning to construct a hydroponic garden that provides residents with a self-sustaining space to grow their own fruits and vegetables, additional seating with Bucs-branded picnic tables and a new exterior performance stage.
"The Buccaneers, through our players and our entire staff, have given thousands of community service hours because it's one of the most valuable and important things we can do as a franchise," said Glazer Kassewitz. "We want to be champions both on and off the field and today, with support from our partners at Jabil, everybody came out with the common goal of lifting up the community. That's what it's all about."
As the afternoon arrived, so did the local students who attend the after-school program at the Grant Park Community Center. Beaming with joy and endless smiles, the students got their first glimpse of the exterior renovations as they stepped off the school bus.
Welcomed by City of Tampa Mayor, Bob Buckhorn, Team Owner and President of the Glazer Family Foundation Darcie Glazer Kassewitz, Senior Vice President of Jabil Beth Walters and Chief Operating Officer for United Way Suncoast Suzanne McCormick, the youth gathered anxiously, intensely anticipating the big reveal.
"The Buccaneers have a long history of caring and investing in the community. This place looks spectacular and it's going to affect the lives of every one of those little kids out here", said Buckhorn while rallying the kids before re-opening the center. "The long-term impact of the investment here is going to pay dividends for generations. These are the kinds of projects that make a difference and that's exactly what the Bucs and all the partners are doing."
Once inside, the youth stood in awe of the newly-constructed teen space decked with new gaming equipment and a study nook to support the City of Tampa's Stay and Play summer program. A completely refurbished computer lab with new IT equipment, additional work stations and a printer to assist local students with their schoolwork and adults seeking employment.
"Jabil is extremely pleased to have developed a meaningful community partnership with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that allow our organizations to give back in such a purposeful manner," said Walters. "Our work today at Grant Park was fulfilling for so many and we look forward to building a long, fruitful 'Day of Service' for Tampa Bay."
The afternoon of reveals did not end there. As the kids were led back outside, there were met by over a dozen Buccaneers players waiting to teach safe youth play through a series of flag football drills. And as a special gift, the Buccaneers surprised each child with a brand-new pair of cleats.
This enhanced collaboration between the Buccaneers and Jabil symbolizes both organizations' commitment to enriching the Tampa Bay community through impactful teamwork and reviving positive fixtures in the Grant Park area.