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Introduction

Minnesota Vikings executives, players, coaches and staff embrace multiple opportunities to give back. Through various hands-on service projects and volunteer efforts, the organization is committed to serving our communities and creating measurable impact on and off the field.

Additionally, more than ever, the organization is committed to tackling important issues in our community, while forming strategic partnerships with charitable organizations to create meaningful impact on a local, national and global scale.

“From the day we purchased the team, we prioritized giving back to the community, enhancing the fan experience and bringing a championship to Minnesota.”

– Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf

Community Tuesdays

Each week during the season, the Vikings continue the tradition of “NFL Community Tuesdays,” as players utilize their only day off by making community appearances. From school visits to fitness activities, food drives to literacy events, players, coaches and executives will spend their Tuesdays throughout the season helping those in need.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for these kids. These kids get a chance to interact and play the game of football with professional athletes. But the players that we have out here really enjoy it as well. It’s a chance for them to see how special and unique these kids are.”

– Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, whose daughter participates in Special Olympics

Defensive end Everson Griffen and teammates visited local police officers in honor of September 11th.

“When you walk in the room and see the smiles on their faces – either because we have candy or because I have a giant Tigger costume on, I’m not sure which one – that’s what makes it so special.”

– Tight end Kyle Rudolph

Linebacker Reshard Cliett and teammates visited American Heroes at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System.

“It was great to bring a smile to their faces. They do so much for our country and protect us, so it’s always good to give back, and it’s a big honor to play in front of those guys.”

– Tight end David Morgan

Vikings offensive linemen handed out encouragement and Thanksgiving meals to 200 local families in need.

Vikings players, including long snapper Kevin McDermott, were present to encourage adoptions and mingle with guests and the adoptable animals at the Animal Humane Society.

“Being here in Minnesota, I think it’s just part of my job to give back and to be a positive role model. I’ll just continue to do that.”

– Wide receiver Laquon Treadwell

Over the past year, the Vikings organization has stepped up its focus and commitment to social justice programs. This player-driven effort strives to create meaningful dialogue and change in the community on issues related to building unity, hope and positive community relationships.

The Vikings approach includes dedicating financial resources to organizations that work for positive change and spending time with young people at schools, community organizations and juvenile detention centers.

The Wilf family and the Vikings have committed $250,000 toward the social justice effort, enhancing a commitment that is deeply rooted in the philosophy of the organization.

“Love doesn’t come with colors. No matter what color you are, what shape you are, what size you are, love doesn’t [discriminate].”

– Wide receiver Stefon Diggs

PROJECT SUCCESS

The Vikings partnered with Project Success in sending a select group of students on an expedition to Washington, D.C., in April. The trip provided a unique opportunity for students to explore themes of identity, culture, community and equity as part of Project Success’ proven curriculum.

The group visited Howard University, the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), and important monuments and sites in the city.

walter payton nfl Man of the Year nominee

The Minnesota Vikings announced TE Kyle Rudolph as the team’s Community Man of the Year and nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award Presented by Nationwide. Considered one of the league’s most prestigious honors, the award recognizes an NFL player for outstanding community service activities off the field, as well as excellence on the field.

Since entering the league in 2011, Rudolph has made a point of investing in the Twin Cities community and has become even more involved since he and his wife, Jordan, opened Kyle Rudolph’s End Zone at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital. This unique space, which was designed with input from patients, provides opportunities for patients and families to take their minds off treatments. Features include an indoor basketball hoop, a lounge, a small kitchen, a digital sports simulator, a sensory walk/area for patients on the autism spectrum and video game consoles. Kyle Rudolph’s End Zone already has had more than 6,000 visits.

"Dear Kyle"

Families from the hospital, as well as those who have benefitted from Rudolph’s generosity and kindness in his hometown of Cincinnati and his college coach, Charlie Weis, wrote “Dear Kyle” letters to explain their gratitude for his impact.

social media charity Challenge

Following the video, Kyle Rudolph won the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Charity Challenge (#WPMOYChallenge). As the winner, Rudolph received $25,000 from Nationwide to donate to the charity of his choice, the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital.

My Cause My Cleats

Forty-eight Vikings players participated in the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” initiative through which footwear is painted to represent respective causes of the players’ choices. Among the causes represented are some players’ personal foundations or charities, including The Thielen Foundation and the Raise the Barr Foundation. Players are also able to pay tribute to causes that have sincere personal connections to.

Rashod Hill: Starkey Hearing Foundation

“It’s emotional a little bit, but at the same time [I also feel] pride and strong that I can wear them to bring awareness to hearing loss. To bring attention to that, it’s a blessing to have them on my feet."

– Offensive tackle Rashod Hill

Chiari & Syringomyelia Foundation

“As an NFL player, I have the opportunity with my platform to spread awareness about a disease that a lot of people don’t know about.”

– Linebacker Kentrell Brothers

Muscular Dystrophy Association

“The platform is there, so why not use it?”

– Kicker Dan Bailey

Raise the Barr Foundation

“Since I grew up with a single mom, I know firsthand what it’s like to be like these kids. They say it takes a village to raise children, and I want them to have opportunities and to be happy in life.”

– Linebacker Anthony Barr

Bully the Bull Foundation

“It’s starting to become a bigger [message], and that’s all we’re trying to do. We’re trying to make the world a safer place.”

– Defensive tackle Linval Joseph

For each player cause, the Vikings invited two people per organization to attend the designated “My Cause, My Cleats” home game and participate in the halftime show. This experience included a pair of tickets and a custom jersey for each participant.

Salute to Service

Salute to Service is a year-round effort to honor, empower and connect our nation’s service members, veterans and their families. The Vikings focus on supporting the NFL’s Salute to Service initiative through a visit to the veterans’ hospital, Veterans Voyage trip to Washington, D.C., packaging event to send supplies to active service members and several game-day initiatives.

Veterans Voyage

In November, the Vikings honored a group of five Minnesota-based veterans and a guest of each as part of the 2018 Veterans Voyage, which the organization put on for the second straight year in partnership with Hy-Vee. Veterans Voyage honors local Minnesota men and women who have risked their lives to serve our country. Nominated by fans, the veterans traveled to Washington, D.C., on Veterans Day weekend for private tours throughout all of the city’s most iconic service memorials. They also received tickets to watch the Vikings take on the Detroit Lions in Minnesota’s annual Salute to Service game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

And for the veterans who participated in the whirlwind journey, it was an experience they will never forget.

“Other than my marriage and the birth of my kids and grandkids, this would be the next most important thing to happen to me, to be welcomed and thanked by these people,” Michael Quinn said. “It’s hard to put into words what that means to us.

Hy-Vee and the Vikings were proud to partner on the second annual Veterans Voyage, honoring five Minnesota men and women for their outstanding service to their country and their communities. The five veterans were surprised with tickets to the Salute to Service game and FREE groceries from Hy-Vee for a year.

During the Vikings Salute to Service game on Sunday, Nov. 4, the veterans were surprised with a trip to Washington, D.C., for Veterans Day Weekend.

“It was one of the highlights of my life.”

– Oona Lanahan, Veteran

“We will be forever grateful for what [the Vikings] did for us. Seriously, it was over the top and beyond words.”

– Michael Quinn, Veteran

Crucial Catch

The NFL, its clubs, players, the NFL Players Association, and the American Cancer Society are committed to the fight against cancer. Crucial Catch expands the impact of the NFL’s work to support breast cancer patients and survivors to address multiple types of cancer through early detection and risk reduction. The Minnesota Vikings recognized the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative throughout the month of October.

As part of the NFL’s Crucial Catch initiative, the Wilf family ownership group of the Vikings provided football and non-football employees with a pair of custom Nike shoes to wear during the “Crucial Catch” game. More than 400 pairs of shoes representing 11 categories of cancer were delivered to coaches, staff, cheerleaders, flag runners and the SKOL Line to show support for those who are battling cancer and their caregivers, as well as pay tribute to the lives claimed by cancer.

Vikings Prep Spotlight

In 2018 the Vikings established Vikings Prep Spotlight, a high school football program hosted at the newly constructed TCO Stadium. The goal of the program is to continue the club’s commitment to football at all levels and grow the sport within the state. Five total high school games were hosted during the inaugural year of the program. Both rivalry games saw sell-out crowds of over 7,000 fans, and the MSHSL Quarterfinals saw strong TV ratings on FOX9+.

“The chance to connect with fans, parents, and players at the high school level is an important part of our ongoing youth football events and we proudly share our field with Minnesota high school teams.”

Vikings Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Warren

Credits:

Minnesota Vikings Photographers

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