This Huddle Brings Kids, Families, Together
By Julie Bacanskas – Originally published by The Philadelphia Eagles on October 21, 2015. Click here to read the original article.
On a beautiful fall day, families gathered at Northern Children’s Services, an organization that supports the healthy development of children and the stabilization of their families, for a very special presentation and a day of service. While the kids ran around in the field, playing and laughing, a small podium was set up by the batting cage with a sign reading “Hometown Huddle.”
As part of the league-wide day of service initiative, the Philadelphia Eagles and United Way spent the 17th annual Hometown Huddle with Northern Children’s Services and presented the Eagles Care partner with a $20,000 grant and an additional $5,000 NFL PLAY 60 grant. The funds will help the organization improve its sports field and promote a healthy lifestyle for the children who attend.
Additionally, the Eagles donated line markers that were used to help paint the sports field and will be further utilized in the future. These allow Northern Children’s Services to transform the grass into a football field or a baseball field or any other type of sports environment the kids may imagine.
“A long-term partnership with the NFL and United Way has forged to strengthen our region by bringing communities together,” said Eagles President Don Smolenski during the event. “Together, we have worked to increase nutrition food services for families and encourage physical exercise and recreation.
“We’re pleased to recognize the great work that Northern Children’s Services is doing to help build healthier communities and a greater Philadelphia region. By supporting the development of children in the tri-state region, they are working to give kids a better future. Our gathering here today is more than just donations and a football field revitalization. It’s about one large community coming together and working alongside one another to create a better future for our youth and young adults.”
Also in attendance were Renata Cobbs-Fletcher, President/CEO of Northern Children’s Services, and Kevin Dow, Vice President of Impact and Innovation at United Way.
The main goal of the afternoon was to support physical fitness and healthy eating among the youth in the community because one in three kids and teens are considered overweight in the United States.
“The check will go a long way for us,” Cobbs-Fletcher said. “We’re deeply grateful for it and really, really grateful for this partnership, which I have to say from my perspective and my colleagues has been just one of the most fantastic and innovative.
“The Eagles and United Way truly understand the importance of community as we do at Northern and the importance of children, youth and families.”
Following the check presentation, Smolenski, Cobbs-Fletcher, Dow, the kids and families all assisted in painting the field with the new line markers, signifying the start of years of activities to come.
“Our work today supports two key building blocks of success – health and quality education,” Dow said. “By providing a safe place and a fun place for children and youth to play and exercise with great partners like the Philadelphia Eagles and Northern Children’s Services, we can help ensure that our children thrive in school and in life. Together we can change lives, challenge ourselves and strengthen communities one child, one adult and one family at a time.”