Robert Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, recently met with Governor Dan McKee to bestow $40,000 in grants to two charities in Rhode Island. These nonprofits, Man Up, Inc. and Youth in Action, were each given $20,000 a piece from the New England Patriots Foundation, an organization that supports a variety of charitable endeavors across a spectrum of worthy causes. We’ll look at how the Ocean State has been enriched by the involvement of Kraft and how his actions are a boon for the communities.
The Patriots Charity License Plate Program
When people want to show off their love of the Patriots, they might do anything from throwing a party to buying a t-shirt. There’s no end to ways to celebrate, and it can be part of the fun to decide which avenues to pursue. Many fans are excited to proclaim their affiliation by putting the name of their team on a license plate frame. What they might not know is that the money they spend on that mobile accessory can do a lot for the people around them.
Rather than taking the profits for themselves, the cost of the plate is put toward higher-order goals for the state. Robert Kraft said, “We commit that at least double what comes in comes back for nonprofits in the state of Rhode Island. I want people to take pride in these plates to let them know that they’re doing good for their own state at the same time.”
This program has been going on for more than a decade, and it’s been a win-win for everyone. Nonprofits receive everything from publicity to funding, fans get the privilege of supporting their neighbors, and the Patriots’ franchise gets to put its influence to good use. Just recently, the Kraft family teamed up with the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles to come up with a new plate design, one that puts all six of the team’s Super Bowl wins front and center. Take a closer look at the two most recent additions to the foundation’s roster of nonprofits.
Man Up , Inc.
Man Up, Inc. was started in September 2011 to provide opportunities for men of color in the state. It affords those who enroll in the program the chance to get a better education, develop their professional skills, and obtain gainful employment. The resources and social support given is truly priceless for anyone who’s struggled to build the life they want for themselves. Simply having something stable to fall back on can be enough to lift a participant up.
Man Up, Inc. is a leader in the public, private, and community sectors and takes advantage of available resources to give men of color a better future. All graduates are fully prepared to either enter college or begin their career. The advocates also challenge social systems to employ better practices and provide equitable treatment for all people.
Youth in Action (YIA)
This community organization encourages children to develop their leadership skills by building safe spaces for them. It’s a refuge where young people can come to help them identify everything from their values to their identity. Through workshops, speeches, and exhibits, the program addresses everything from cultural influences to equity imbalances in Rhode Island.
YIA is all about helping kids develop their best selves through intergenerational support. It’s not just adults teaching kids, it’s everyone in the program learning from one another to make a real change in the community. This is sustainable work that is, with the help of adult mentorship, both created and led by youth.
Robert Kraft’s organization doesn’t choose charities at random. If you look at the track record, its leaders are known for keeping resources local. By supporting worthy charities in Rhode Island, the people who ultimately fund the foundation — the loyal fans — are improving their state one dollar at a time. At first glance, it might appear that the money is going to help a certain subsection of the population, but the reality is that a stronger community helps everyone.
The Patriots ultimately help support everything from new uniforms for youth sports to organizations that speak for the marginalized communities in the state. This is a major part of the team’s legacy, one that’s cultivated through a mindset of giving. Throughout his career, Kraft has seen just how much one philanthropic mission can do for the people it supports.