Teens at the Hyde Square Task Force in Jamaica Plain received a special treat on Monday as part of the NFL and United Way’s annual Hometown Huddle – not only a new Play 60 fitness room, but the opportunity to work out with Patriots players Devin McCourty, Matthew Slater and Zach Moore in one of their favorite exercises: dancing!
Patriots players teamed up with United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and volunteers to transform Hyde Square Task Force’s dance studio into a multi-purpose fitness room. As part of the afternoon’s activities, players also talked with the kids about being active and healthy and joined the organization’s dance team in practicing a group dance number.
”When we have a chance to come back in the community and connect with youth like yourselves, we really appreciate that opportunity,” Matthew Slater told the group of teens after the fitness room renovation was complete. “I hope you’ll continue to follow your dreams and be positive influences for each other and your peers.”
With the makeover, Hyde Square Task Force hopes to expand the usage of the room to include other fitness activities and classes, including fitness boot camps, yoga, and toddler exercise classes. The room hosts dance classes four days a week. Through dancing, performing, and teaching, youth gain confidence, integrate physical activity into their lives and transform themselves as community leaders.
“We know that fitness is an important way to keep young people engaged in their communities and allow them to develop confidence and leadership skills,” said Mike Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley. “The NFL has been a terrific partner of United Way for many years and it’s great to be able to bring the players into one of our longstanding community partners at Hyde Square Task Force to do something really special for this community that will have lasting benefits well beyond today.”
For more than 35 years, the National Football League has been working with United Way to strengthen America’s communities. Hometown Huddle, a league-wide day of service, involves NFL teams across the country participating in a variety of youth fitness projects on the same day. United Way of Mass Bay & Merrimack Valley continues to work with New England Patriots special teams captain Matthew Slater of Team NFL/United Way to encourage volunteerism and healthy communities.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY AND MERRIMACK VALLEY
One of the region's largest nonprofits, United Way’s work ensures that children enter school ready to learn, youth stay engaged in school so they graduate with options for the future, and parents attain financial stability. No other single organization has the scope, expertise, and influence to bring together hundreds of human services agencies, government, businesses, private foundations and dedicated volunteers around a common vision of creating maximum impact and achieving long-lasting results.
ABOUT THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS CHARITABLE FOUNDATION
The New England Patriots Charitable Foundation is the 501(c)(3) non-profit entity created by the Kraft family to support charitable and philanthropic agencies throughout New England. This support comes in the form of direct grants and the donation of signed memorabilia to a variety of charitable causes, and from Patriots players making appearances out in the community.