You’ve heard a lot about how football and United Way are bringing people together in this week leading up to the Super Bowl. And I admit, it’s been incredible to witness. But what some people don’t know is that United Way and the NFL have been teaming up for over 40 years to support communities all over the country.
We’ve talked a lot about how the NFL organization cares about kids. And they do. Character Playbook is just one of the many programs we’ve used over the years to help youth learn and grow.
It’s also important to mention the variety of ways, big and small, that NFL players and coaches are supporting the communities they live in—taking time to star in Character Playbook commercials and the virtual reality program, sporting special footwear in support of #MyCauseMyCleats, giving back through Man of the Year, and so much more.
What makes this week extra special is that MN Vikings Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph stopped by United Way’s booth at Super Bowl Experience, not as part of any contract or agreement, but because they care enough to break from their busy schedules for these surprise visits.
I had a chance to meet Stefon Diggs when he came by on Monday and he was such a nice guy. Of course, he wanted to check out the virtual reality experience (and really got into it!), but he was also genuinely happy to be there, meeting fans, signing autographs, taking pictures. He even made a point to ensure he shook each United Way staff member’s hand.
This week has been a great showcase of this one-of-a-kind partnership between a major sports league and a nonprofit organization. But long after a Super Bowl champion has been declared and everyone packs up to flee the cold, the NFL and its players will continue to support their communities through United Way.
We know that teamwork is essential to a victory on the field, but it’s when we team up off the field that everyone wins.
United Way staff members with Stefon Diggs at Super Bowl Experience on Monday, January 29. I’m the one on the far left!
Stacy Emond is the digital engagement manager at Greater Twin Cities United Way. She spends most days online, managing GTCUW’s digital reputation on our website and through paid media.