As part of the NFL's celebration of its 100th season, the league launched a 'Huddle for 100' initiative challenging players, legends, and staff from each team to make a difference in the communities they live. The Seahawks held a series of 'Huddle for 100' events around the Seattle area on Friday, June 14, making one stop at YWCA's Angeline's Day Center, where volunteers worked in the kitchen, served lunch and interacted with the women of Angeline's Day Center.
The Seahawks wrapped up offseason workouts last week with the conclusion of their three-day minicamp, but a day after their on-field work came to an end, Seahawks rookies were still hard at work, experiencing how meaningful their presence can be off the field.
As part of the NFL's Huddle for 100 initiative, Seahawks rookies, a handful of Seahawks Legends and approximately 200 Seahawks employees volunteered last Friday at four Seattle locations: Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall, Aki Kurose Middle School, the YWCA's Angeline's Day Center for Women and Plymouth Housing.
"It's always great being able to be able to give back. That's the name of the game being able to give back once you get to a certain point," said receiver Gary Jennings, who volunteered at Aki Kurose.
In all, rookies, Legends and Seahawks employees gave more than 40,000 volunteer minutes Friday, part of what the NFL hopes will be a much larger volunteer effort not just from teams but also from fans. As part of the league's celebration of its 100th season in 2019, the Huddle for 100 initiative invites fans to partner with teams and players to reach the goal of 1 million people donating 100 minutes of their time to help the community.
"It was a great experience to be able to give back to the community, just do something for the people—an opportunity to give somebody their next meal," said linebacker Cody Barton, who volunteered at the YWCA's Angeline's Day Center for Women, which provides a safe and welcoming space for women experiencing homelessness. "Knowing that, that was a cool experience to be able to feed those people."
In addition to serving meals, volunteers at Angeline's Day Center also worked in the kitchen and interacted with the women there. Barton and other Seattle rookies hope the work they did last week can encourage others to follow suit.
"Now that we have this platform, we have more of a voice, so that's a great way to use this position we're in to reach out to people and encourage them to get actively involved in things like this," Barton said. "It can be anything, it doesn't have to be feeding homeless people; anything to help in the community."
At the Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall, volunteers cleaned, landscaped and restored the Memorial Hall and neighborhood. Volunteers also were able to tour the military museum, which further tells the story of the contributions made by Japanese American veterans.
"I really enjoyed it, getting to know the history," first-round pick L.J. Collier told the NFL Network. "… The emotion was authentic being there seeing all these true heroes, being in the situation I was in was just unreal. I enjoyed it. That's one thing I wanted to do when I got into the league, I wanted to give back, work with the community, let people see me giving back and sharing, seeing that I'm not too cool to come out here and give back to the community that comes out there on Sundays, Mondays and Thursday, whenever we're playing, show we can give back to them the way they give to us."
As part of the NFL's celebration of its 100th season, the league launched a 'Huddle for 100' initiative challenging players, legends, and staff from each team to make a difference in the communities they live. The Seahawks held a series of 'Huddle for 100' events around the Seattle area on Friday, June 14, making a stop at Aki Kurose Middle School, where volunteers participated with students in a variety of activities, including reading, playing sports, and creating vision boards.
At Aki Kurose, volunteers participated in activities with students that included reading, playing sports and creating vision boards.
"It was really fun being able to inform the kids on our experiences and how we were able to get to the point where we're at, and how important school is, and how important the classroom is in our lives still to this day," Jennings said.
Volunteers at Plymouth Housing set up a barbecue, worked in the kitchen, served lunch and played bingo with residents of Plymouth Housing, which at its Cherry Street and Marion Street residences aims to eliminate homelessness and address its causes by preserving, developing and operating safe, quality, supportive housing and by providing adults experiencing homelessness with opportunities to stabilize and improve their lives. The visit from Seahawks rookies and Legends was about a lot more than a meal or a game of bingo.
"One of the common themes with people who have lived homeless for a while is to feel invisible, to feel not noticed, to feel ignored and marginalized," said Michael Quinn, Plymouth Housing's Director of Social Services. "To be able to bring in volunteers, to bring the community into our building, to have individuals be able to feel recognized, accepted, appreciated and validated is always strong. To be able to have a really high-profile organization like the Seahawks and the Seahawks players come in just amplifies that feeling. It was really exciting for so many of the folks to be able to meet the players. I talked to one individual who was born in Seattle in 1972, grew up a Seahawks fan in the old Zorn and Largent days, and he came down in a Russell Wilson jersey, '12' socks, a camouflaged Seahawks hat, and it was really just an amazing moment for him to be able to connect and have those conversations and actually have a little bit of mirth and joy in a day when he's not having to deal with some of the other concerns that he needs to be healing from."
As part of the NFL's celebration of its 100th season, the league launched a 'Huddle for 100' initiative challenging players, legends, and staff from each team to make a difference in the communities they live. The Seahawks held a series of 'Huddle for 100' events around the Seattle area on Friday, June 14, making stops at Plymouth Housing, where participants made brunch, BBQ'd, and played bingo with residents.
The Huddle for 100 also serves as a call to action for fans and Seahawks partners. Earlier this month Windermere answered the call, with brokers and staff, along with Seahawks punter Michael Dickson and Seahawks Legend Marcus Trufant helping complete a new playground at Mary's Place Family Center in Burien.
Fans looking to get involved in the Huddle for 100 can find more information on ways to volunteer here. The Seahawks and Bloodworks Northwest are also partnering to sponsor a blood drive at CenturyLink Field that will take place on August 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Bleed for the Blue and Green Huddle for 100 Blood Drive, which will include appearances by Legends and Blitz, is aiming to get 100 donors to provide a potentially life-saving donation. To make an appointment, fans can click here, call 800-398-7888 or text bloodapp to 91985 to download the Bloodworks App.
A number of Seahawks partners also took part in the Huddle for 100 by providing supplies, money and volunteers. Thanks to CenturyLink, Delta Air Lines, Coca-Cola, Virginia Mason, Delta Dental, Embassy Suites, Safeway, EA Sports, Mac Cosmetics & Kent East Hill Nursery.
As part of the NFL's celebration of its 100th season, the league launched a 'Huddle for 100' initiative challenging players, legends, and staff from each team to make a difference in the communities they live. The Seahawks held a series of 'Huddle for 100' events around the Seattle area on Friday, June 14, making a stop at Nisei Veterans Memorial Hall, where volunteers partnered with The Mission Continues to clean, landscape and restore the Memorial Hall and neighborhood.