Skip to main content
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Players and Staff Join Hands with Tech Leader Jabil for "Day of Service" to Revitalize Recreation Center 

During the week, the Buccaneers and Jabil partnered to give back to the East Tampa community with enhancement project.

TAMPA, FL - May 05, 2022 - Safety Chris Cooper #39 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2022 Day of Service project at Highland Pines Park. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers
TAMPA, FL - May 05, 2022 - Safety Chris Cooper #39 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the 2022 Day of Service project at Highland Pines Park. Photo By Kyle Zedaker/Tampa Bay Buccaneers

On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers teamed up with their corporate partner and technology leader, Jabil Inc. to enhance an underserved recreational center in a collaboration operation, "Day of Service." Both worked together for one common goal: acting as a catalyst for change and making a difference in the lives of families in the community.

During the three-day event in Highland Pines Park, spanning from Tuesday May 3rd-Thursday May 5th, approximately 150 staff members from both organizations joined forces and diligently worked to renovate the Highland Pines recreation center in the heart of East Tampa. The center provides shelter from the mundane routine of life and cultivates an inspiring place for children to learn outside of school.

"Seeing their [the children] energy and enthusiasm is contagious," former Bucs' Pro Bowl left guard Ali Marpet described at the unveiling.

Marpet spent the morning shoveling mulch near the playground area to help the community service efforts and quality time after the reveal to motivate the children.

"It's important to see their enthusiasm for the new space," Marpet smiled. "It's really going to be exciting for me because there are a lot of great resources that went into it, a lot of time and energy. I think just for them, having a space that is their own is special."

The dual-impact project featured a computer lab transformation with new monitors, multi-function laser printers, collaboration tables, STEM learning activities, camera installs, updated basketball court and three smart TVs designed for interactive classroom instruction to foster innovative thinking. Additionally, the renovations included multi-purpose rooms, new wall murals of star Bucs players, new desks and chairs, a fresh coat of paint and artwork placed throughout the center to engender creativity.

View photos of the Buccaneers Day of Service event.

The enhancement project correlates with the Bucs' social justice initiative and advocacy to provide equal access to health resources in Tampa, regardless of economic circumstances. The aim is to promote well-being and strive to counteract oppression by distributing economic opportunities to underprivileged communities. Tara Battiato, the Buccaneers' Vice President of community impact and executive director of Glazer Vision Foundation remarked, "our goal is to break down barriers to social equality and provide critical resources to those who need it the most ... this week's project is about providing access to resources that will make a huge difference in the lives of many here in East Tampa."

The glimmer of hope and happiness plastered across each child's face as the refreshed center was opened left an imprint on every person attending the celebration. The day became a perspective shifter and brought a sense of nostalgia for the players in attendance.

Bucs' guard John Molchon toured the new refurbished recreation grounds and beamed, remembering the park beside his church growing up, Faith Community Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Growing up in Las Vegas, our park area was a really close-knit community," Molchon explained. "I think it's so much similar here from what it sounds like as far as what they want this place to be – an opportunity for kids to hang out, be together and grow as a group is really wonderful."

"Being here really opened my eyes. Even in the offseason I try to utilize my park a lot, so just being here and seeing all these awesome renovations is so inspiring. I just think it is so cool for this community to have the opportunity to enjoy this area."

Today, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jabil Inc. joined together for a greater cause: to help those in need. They each lent resources and time, becoming the embodiment of kindness in the Tampa community and inspired others to do the same.

The three-day event propelled Jabil one step closer to achieving their ultimate mission. LaShawne Meriwether, Jabil's vice president of talent, diversity and community explained, "This is our fifth year doing this with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but this year at Jabil, we have a really bold goal in terms of our community service and volunteerism: to achieve one million hours of service in the calendar year 2022."

Each hour will help enrich children's lives by encouraging them to dream big in an environment that mentally and physically challenges!

Related Content

win monthly prizes, download the app and turn on push alerts to score

Download the Buccaneers app and turn on push alerts for your chance to win

Latest Headlines