Each day of training camp, the Vikings hosted a community group for a pre-practice VIP experience.
- Project Success
- Crescent Cove
- Hammer Travel
- Survivor Outreach Services
- Minneapolis Police Department
- Bloomington Police Department
- C2i Foster Youth
- Ventures Travel
- Ronald McDonald HJouse
- Minnesota Amputee Support Group
- Special Olympics
- Boys & Girls Clubs
- Gillette Children’s Hospital
- American Cancer Society
Youth football was highlighted throughout Vikings Training Camp with three youth clinics and a “Youth Football Team of the Day” program. Five organizations were invited to participate. Athletes and coaches were granted sideline access to watch practice and had the opportunity to scrimmage at TCO Stadium.
- North Commons Park
- Police Activities League
- Tacklebar Football League
- Minnetonka Football Association
Toms Giving Event
In partnership with TOMS, approximately 400 students — ages pre-K through sixth grade — were fitted by the Vikings for new shoes. The young people also received a free vision test through Helen Keller International and were fitted for a new pair of glasses if needed.
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins surprised children from People Serving People, the region’s largest and most comprehensive family focused homeless shelter, with a surprise Halloween party. Cousins met the group at Party City in Eagan and helped the children choose their own costumes. They then headed to TCO Performance Center for a private trick-or-treating experience.
"Hopefully we can make a positive difference for people, especially here in the Twin Cities. It's a joy. It's a small thing we can do today."
-Quarterback Kirk Cousins
Season of Giving
During the 2019 holiday season, the Minnesota Vikings hosted many events to give back to families in surrounding communities.
"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
Vikings Unified Special Olympics
In 2019, the Vikings launched a Special Olympics Unified Sports Football Program. The program was part of an effort to promote an environment of social inclusion by uniting people with and without intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics Unified Sports.
To kick things off, the athletes and coaches participated in a signing day with Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman. From there, the unified athletes had monthly practices at TCO Performance Center before traveling to compete against the Los Angeles Chargers Unified Team in Week 15.
"I think it’s a great opportunity for our team. It’s a chance for them to see how special and unique these kids are."
- Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman
"It’s been amazing. I never thought in a million years that this would happen. Just getting to be out here and making friends has been my favorite part."
- Vikings Unified Athlete Chaz Morris
The Minnesota Vikings helped grant the wishes of 5 Make-a-Wish kids with critical illnesses this past season.
"My experience brought me closer to my family."
- Vikings Make-a-Wish recipient Jack Bennerotte
Age: 19 | Wish: Receive Vikings season tickets
Age: 4 | Wish: attend a Vikings practice and meet the players
Age: 17 | Wish: become the Vikings General Manager for the day
Age: 12 | Wish: Meet Stefon Diggs and play catch with him
Age: 9 | Wish: Create an offensive play
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 spending time with young people at schools, community organizations and juvenile detention centers and dedicating financial resources to organizations that work for positive change.
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.
$75,000 donated by Vikings players in support of drake hotel fire victims.
$250,00 dollars donated to support social justice efforts in the twin cities.
The Vikings partnered with Project Success in sending 50 students on an expedition to Washington, D.C., in April 2019. 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.
To complete the weekend, the group of current and former players then met with team Owner/President Mark Wilf for a deeply emotional visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
"In a way, this whole initiative has allowed us to get to know our players a little better — not just in the building or on the field, but things that matter to them, or what they’re hearing about."
-Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf
The Minnesota Vikings 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.
In November, five Minnesota World War II veterans embarked on an unprecedented Veterans Voyage trip. The veterans, who ranged from 94 to 101 years of age, visited England and France for free, thanks to a partnership between Hy-Vee and the Minnesota Vikings that covered an experience organized by The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation.
The trip to Europe included visiting the U.S. Embassy in Great Britain, the Churchill War Rooms, the 100th Bomb Group Memorial Museum and the beaches of Normandy, France. The veterans returned from the tour and were recognized at an impactful halftime program during the Vikings Salute to Service game on Sunday, Nov. 17.
"When I get involved in something like this, I always shed tears, so it must hit me hard, something I’ll never forget.”
- WWII Veteran, United States Army, 2nd Armored Division Fred Apfelbacher
Fifty-four Vikings players participated in the NFL’s “My Cause My Cleats” initiative. The footwear is painted to represent respective causes of the players’ choice as part of the NFL’s annual My Cause My Cleats initiative. For each player cause, the Vikings invited two people per organization to attend the game and participate in the halftime show.
"I think the more that people do talk about autism and understand it, the better it is for the families who go through it because more people have an idea of what it’s like.”
- Tackle Brian O’Neill
C.J. Ham’s custom-designed kicks for the NFL's My Cause My Cleats game featured a portrait of his mother, Tina, during her fight with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
C.J. surprised Tina with the cleats at a Saturday walk-through practice. Sharing the first look, mother and son each were taken impressed by the detail of the shoes.
Team Up to Give Back
In honor of the NFL’s 100th season, the Vikings launched a Huddle for 100 volunteer program presented by U.S. Bank. The Vikings Huddle for 100 campaign invited fans, players and staff members to donate 100 minutes of their time and shape what the community will look like for the next 100 years.
Working alongside presenting partner U.S. Bank and HandsOn Twin Cities, fans supported nonprofit organizations around the Twin Cities by participating in volunteer activities each day of training camp and seven home games at U.S. Bank Stadium. Volunteer activities included packing school supply kits, snack packs, sock bundles, laundry kits and hygiene kits.
"The Huddle for 100 campaign is all about volunteerism and making our community a better place.”
- Tight End Kyle Rudolph
Girls Football Academy
In its inaugural year, the Girls Football Academy hosted nearly 1,500 attendees over six weeks. Designed to give girls more of an opportunity to play football, participants were able to deepen their football knowledge through a variety of drills, games and guest speakers.
"Congrats to the Vikings for paving a path for hundreds of girls to enjoy this sport for a lifetime.”
- NFL Senior Director of Diversity & Inclusion Samantha Rapoport
Vikings of Tomorrow
Vikings of Tomorrow teaches football fundamentals, increases access to play, and reduces the opportunity gap for growth of youth and high school football across the region.
Flag Kit Includes:
- 30 flag belts (15 purple/15 yellow)
- 30 pinnies (15 purple/15 yellow)
- 10 footballs
- 1 kicking tee
2019 gatorade coach of the week
The Vikings and Gatorade teamed up to honor a Gatorade Coach of the Week during the high school football season. Coaches were chosen based on their contribution on the football field and the impact they make within their community.
In addition to the recognition award, the school’s football program received Gatorade product for the season and a $1,000 donation on behalf of the Minnesota Vikings.
2019 Gatorade Coach of the Year - Wayzata High School
In addition to being named the Vikings High School Coach of the Year, Lambert Brown was the runner-up for the Don Shula NFL High School Coach of the Year, earning his football program a $10,000 grant from the NFL Foundation and the opportunity to attend Super Bowl LIV in Miami.
Vikings Prep Spotlight
In 2018, the Vikings established a high school football program hosted at 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. The tradition continued in 2019, showcasing three rivalry games from around the state. Nearly 9,000 fans attended the games at TCO Stadium.
"We are proud to share our field with the next generation of football players and hope they make memories for a lifetime.”
- Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman
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.
"We’ve been given a platform as a professional athlete to do a lot of great things here in our community.”
- Tight End Kyle Rudolph