Tampa Bay Buccaneers LBs Derrick Brooks and Shelton Quarles, TE Patrick Hape and DE John McLaughlin visited the Tampa United Methodist Centers
Rosa Valdez Early Intervention Center for the inaugural "NFL & United Way Hometown Huddle" on Tuesday, October 19. Buccaneers players spent the morning playing with and reading to the children at the at-risk daycare facility before giving the centers playground a facelift with some painting, mulching and carpentry work.
The event was one of many community service projects that took place in all NFL communities across the country. While many NFL players volunteer year-round, this national community outreach initiative marked the first time players from each of the 31 NFL teams teamed up on one designated day to participate in hands-on volunteer projects with United Way-funded agencies.
"Our team is fortunate to have the support of fans on Sundays," said Brooks, who serves as the NFC national spokesperson for the Hometown Huddle event. "We play the best when we
re all working together. Its the same off the field. It`s exciting to know that we can make good things happen when we care and take the time to reach out to others."
Hometown Huddle is the latest element in the 26-year partnership between the NFL and the United Way. By participating in the Hometown Huddle project, NFL players are reaching out to more than 3,000 individuals supported by local United Way agencies. A sampling of Hometown Huddle projects include: building new playgrounds, refurbishing football fields, conducting workshops on the importance of team-building and education, reading to the visually-impaired and serving food to the homeless.
"On the field and off, the Buccaneers are a strong presence in the community, and we are proud that they are part of our team," said Kim Scheeler, president, United Way of Hillsborough County. "The Hometown Huddle proves that, when we work together, we can make Hillsborough County a better place to work and live."
MEDIA CONTACT: Jenny Townley Community Relations Media Coordinator Tampa Bay Buccaneers 813-870-2700, ext. 296