The New England Patriots proved once again that their skills on the gridiron are matched by their generosity off the field as they completed their 30th annual handoff. Robert Kraft, owner of the six-time Super Bowl champions, alongside a squadron of current players, alumni, cheerleaders, and the charismatic mascot Pat Patriot convened at the Morgan Memorial Goodwill headquarters to ensure 200 thanksgiving baskets as reported by CBS Boston.
The players once again rolled up their sleeves to interact with the community directly, signaling a return to pre-pandemic personal touches that had been sidelined due to health and safety protocols. For attendees like Gigi Fedna, the gesture didn't go unnoticed, heaping praise on the Patriots' endeavors, telling WHDH, "I think it’s very wonderful" and acknowledging the impact of the team's actions on families grappling with the economic challenges of everyday life. And as Patriots tight end Hunter Henry put it in an interview laden with the warmth of an impending Thanksgiving feast, "It's good to get out in the community, especially right before a big holiday. Thanksgiving is always special."
While Turkey Day tailgates are set to unfold across the nation, the sentiment in Roxbury was one of heartfelt gratitude, where the tune of football anthems gave way to words of thanks as spectators-turned-beneficiaries lined up to receive not only food but also the encouragement of athletes who score touchdowns and goodwill in equal measure according to WHDH. Patriots center David Andrews echoed the sense of community spirit, affirming the importance of such events, particularly during the holidays, and allowing us a glimpse into the playbook of kindness that the organization subscribes to annually, saying, "Any chance we can to give back and be part of something like this, especially around the holidays, it means a lot."
The charitable drive comes at a critical juncture, with Joanne Hilferty, President and CEO of Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, highlighting a spike in hunger needs—a result of climbing prices and budget constraints that box out many families from the possibility of a full Thanksgiving spread—but the Patriots, ever the team to read the room, embraced the challenge, filling said budget gaps with baskets brimming with holiday hope, because, as Robert Kraft revealed in CBS Boston, "It's very complicated times we're living in now and I think and what is going on in the world and I think how upset I can get from watching our team some times after 30 years."