After months of offseason preparation, a demanding training camp and four preseason tune-ups, the 2012 Tampa Bay Buccaneers are just a few days away from putting all of their hard work to the test.
Similarly, thousands of Bay area students have returned to school in recent weeks, where they are trying to hit the ground running in the classroom. Unfortunately, many Title I and Renaissance schools in Hillsborough and Pinellas County are without the proper supplies to help educate our local children. That's where Buccaneer fans can help.
When the Bucs kick off the regular season versus the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, the Glazer Family Foundation will team up with Hillsborough and Pinellas County Schools to conduct the ninth annual school supply drive at Raymond James Stadium. Volunteers will collect school supplies at the yellow collection stations outside all gates and club entrances at beginning at 2:30 pm. Representatives from Hillsborough and Pinellas County schools will distribute these supplies to children in need from Title I and Renaissance schools throughout both counties.
School supplies needed include crayons, colored pencils, glue sticks, markers, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils and rulers. Over the past eight years, more than $25,000 worth of school supplies have been collected at Buccaneers home games and distributed back into the Bay area community.
As in previous years, all fans who make a donation will have the chance to win a piece of autographed Buccaneers memorabilia. Fans will be notified of the winner during the game's second half.
In addition to Sunday's school supply drive, fans will have three more gameday opportunities to support the Buccaneers and give back to the community. Throughout 2012, fans can help underserved children, families and the military on the following dates:
- November 11 – Military Supply Drive
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Fans are asked to donate coffee, hygiene items, non-perishable food and new or slightly-used items that will be collected by the nonprofit organization Support the Troops, Inc., and shipped directly to United States military bases overseas.
- November 25 – Sports Closet Drive
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
In support of youth health and wellness, volunteers will collect new or gently-used sports equipment to donate to underprivileged children throughout the Bay area.
- December 9 – Holiday Collection Drive
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Presented by Raymond James, and in conjunction with the Glazer Family Foundation, Southern Ford Dealers, and United Healthcare, the Holiday Collection Drive will encourage fans to donate nonperishable items and canned goods to benefit local food banks. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve will also collect new toys as part of the "Toys for Tots" program, which helps provide a happy holiday for children in need.
The Glazer Family Foundation is dedicated to assisting charitable and educational causes in the Central Florida region. The Foundation aids established nonprofit organizations that work with children and families to help identify and create programs which support positive social and economic development within our communities. The Glazer family, who own the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, established the Foundation in 1999. Since that time, the Glazer Family Foundation has given millions of dollars in programs, grants, tickets and merchandise to the Tampa Bay area. Most recently, the Foundation donated $5 million toward the construction of the Glazer Children's Museum in downtown Tampa. Visit www.GlazerFamilyFoundation.org for more information.