On Tuesday, October 10th, Tight end James Dearth, cornerback Drew Coleman, defensive tackle Matt McChesney, safety Eric Smith, and offensive tackle Anthony Clement volunteered their time to make improvements to the entrance of Roy Wilkins Park in Flushing, Queens.
They helped members of the community clean up the park entrance and participated in a landscaping project by planting flowers, bushes and shrubs.
The effort was part of a league wide program called the NFL Hometown Huddle in partnership with the United Way.
During this national day of community service, approximately 300 NFL players, team reps and their families, from every NFL team, trade in their shoulder pads, cleats and helmets for tool belts, aprons or mud boots—whatever's needed—to lend aid and assistance to people in communities across the nation.
In addition to rolling up their sleeves to improve the park, the Jets, NFL Charities and UWNYC also presented a check for $5,000 to the South Queens Park Association (SQPA) which operates the park.
"On behalf of all of us at the Jets, I am pleased to present this check which will be used towards improvements for this great park," said Matthew Higgins, New York Jets Senior Vice President for Public Affairs who presented the check on behalf of the team. "Each year we look forward to rolling up our sleeves and working in different communities to improve the parks and schools that are so important to all of us."
The Jets worked with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall's office to select a volunteer project for this year's Hometown Huddle. The Southern Queens Park Association has been a recipient of United Way funding in the past and more recently was awarded a grant for its workforce development programs from NYCWorks, an initiative of the New York City Council that is administered by UWNYC.
The partnership between United Way and the NFL—now in its 33rd year—is the longest running sports/charity relationship of its kind. It is one of many NFL run charities in which the New York Jets actively participate.