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The Baltimore Ravens Serve Children and Families

Posted By Melanie LeGrande, Sunday, November 20, 2011

By Melanie LeGrande
Executive Director, RACTF/Director of Community Relations, [ABAG Member] Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens have a strong commitment to serving children and families in need in our area.

As we all know, strategic philanthropy and collective impact are key to making a long-term difference. The team and its players have many such initiatives. But we cannot forget that in the short-term, there are still those who need our attention. Those who have to choose between holiday meals and keeping the lights on. Those who have to choose between holiday gifts for their children and heat for the winter.

During the holidays, we are happy to say that our players join forces every year to provide meals, gifts and funds to those who desperately need it. Many of the players have been on the receiving end of such distributions and recognize that they are now in a position to return the favor. Additional players know the importance of giving back and take the time to give. It is our culture, and we’re proud to make a difference.

According to the Maryland Food Bank, there are 466,000 people in the state who are food insecure, meaning they are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. Each year, the Ravens organization and its players commit to making a difference by feeding Maryland families. Below is an example of events taking place around Thanksgiving efforts. 

* Ravens LB Ray Lewis hosted his annual distribution of Thanksgiving baskets and home products/toiletries to 800 Baltimore families on Tuesday (11/15). 

* Ravens LB Jameel McClain partnered with the Salvation Army Warehouse to extend a helping hand to families in need this holiday season. McClain hosted his second annual Thanksgiving distribution on Tuesday (11/15), where 53 families were presented with a Thanksgiving basket complete with a turkey and all the trimmings. 

* On Tuesday (11/15), the sixth annual holiday dinner at the Helping Up Mission men’s shelter in downtown Baltimore was led by Ravens RB Ray Rice. Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables, rolls and dessert was a special meal for 350 men who live and visit the shelter. 

* Ravens G Ben Grubbs and CB/RS Lardarius Webb teamed to distribute Thanksgiving baskets to 300 Baltimore-area, single-parent families on Friday (11/18). The third annual event was held at the Park Heights Boys & Girls Club. 

* Ravens C Andre Gurode distributed 500 turkeys to families in need on the east side of Baltimore, working alongside Israel Baptist Church and Collington Square School, on Friday (11/18). 

* On Friday (11/18), Ravens S Ed Reed distributed Thanksgiving meals with all the fixings to 300 families of the SEED School in Baltimore, Md. This was the first of three Thanksgiving basket distributions that Reed will facilitate. Others will take place on Monday, Nov. 21 at Coppin State, and at Booker T. Washington Middle on Tuesday, Nov. 22. 

* Ravens LB Brendon Ayanbadejo will serve families on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 29. He is working with a local charter school in south Baltimore. 

* The Ravens will host their 16th annual Food & Funds Drive throughout the month of November. Over 50 Giant Food stores will be collecting non-perishables, and the virtual food drive ( will be collecting funds. 

At the Ravens vs. Bengals game on Nov. 20, more than 100 volunteers took part in the stadium collection. In 2010, the efforts generated 25,000 lbs of food and more than $30,000.

This is our culture, and we’re proud to make a difference.

Tags:  And Now A Word from Our Members  November 2011 Members' Memo 

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