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HOMETOWN HUDDLE The Atlanta Falcons held their annual Hometown Huddle initiative on Tuesday, October 2

MORE THAN JUST A GAME

Tuesday is typically a day off for NFL players during the regular season, but the Atlanta Falcons treated October 2nd as anything but an off day. Players and staff along with Owner & Chairman Arthur M. Blank, President & CEO Rich McKay and the Women's Association, teamed up and split into groups to visit 11 various locations throughout the metro-Atlanta area to give back as part of the Falcons 2018 Hometown Huddle.

The Hometown Huddle initiative is a way for players and staff to say 'thank you' to various support groups and individuals within the city of Atlanta for all that they do for the community.

The Falcons are the only team in the NFL that has all 53 active players participate in community outreach events on the same day.

Hometown Huddle is just one of many outreach events the Falcons organize to engage with and show support to the city of Atlanta. The Falcons have made giving back to the community not just a priority throughout the regular season, but a year-round commitment.

The Atlanta Falcons rookie club - QB Kurt Benkert, WR Russell Gage, T Matt Gono, WR Devin Gray, C J.C. Hassenauer, DB Ryan Neal, CB Isaiah Oliver, WR Calvin Ridley, NT Deadrin Senat, RB Ito Smith and DT Jacob Tuioti-Mariner - visited The Zone at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - Scottish Rite on Tuesday morning.

The Zone, which is completely donor-funded, is where patients at Scottish Rite get to escape the realities of their hospital room and enjoy fun activities such as Putt-Putt golf, a basketball court, a movie theater and an Xbox room.

The rookies handed out goodie bags filled with rally towels, stickers and a few other surprises to the young patients and also joined in on some craft activities and Xbox games.

Atlanta Falcons players - QB Matt Ryan, QB Matt Schaub, S Keith Tandy, WR Marvin Hall, LS Josh Harris and K Matt Bryant - joined together to visit the Children's Healthcare of Atlanta - Egleston.

Matt Ryan is no stranger to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. The quarterback and the Aflac Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta team up annually to host the Matt Ryan Celebrity-Am Classic, which raises funds for the cancer center and the Matt Ryan Foundation.

The players, along with two Falcons cheerleaders Alex G. and Eiesha, went room-to-room to visit and spend time with the children, handing out goodie bags and getting to know the young patients.

Atlanta Falcons players including DT Terrell McClain, DE Steven Means, T Jake Matthews, RB Brian Hill, T Ty Sambrailo and G Zac Kerin visited Emory University Hospital to surprise nurses and express their gratitude for all that they do.

Earlier this March, the Atlanta Falcons named Emory Healthcare as their Official Team Healthcare Provider. The partnership gives both the Falcons and Emory new opportunities to engage in community outreach.

The players went floor-to-floor to visit with the nurses, handing out goodie bags and taking pictures.

Atlanta Falcons DE Takk McKinley, S Damontae Kazee, S Sharrod Neasman and G Ben Garland stopped by F.L. Stanton Elementary School to surprise teachers and express their gratitude for all that they do.

Fifth-year veteran Ben Garland made a commitment to himself that each year he will match his jersey number - No. 63 - with the number of Community Outreach events he attends. Last year, the Air Force alum visited 68 various schools, hospitals and events, to give back to the community. This year he hopes to beat that number.

The Falcons players went room-to-room surprising the teachers and their students with goodie bags and carnations, taking pictures with everyone and thanking the teachers for the hard work they do.

Like the surprise visit to F.L. Stanton, Falcons RB Tevin Coleman, TE Austin Hooper, TE Eric Saubert and LB Bruce Carter visited Hope Hill Elementary School Tuesday morning as well for teacher appreciation.

Bruce Carter may be new to the Falcons, but he's no stranger to giving back to the community. The seven-year veteran hosts his annual Bruce Carter Football Camp in his hometown of Havelock, NC, each summer. The free clinic gives Carter the opportunity to spend time and teach the fundamentals of the game to the local youth of Havelock.

Freddie the Falcon joined the players at Hope Hill to surprise teachers and students, passing out goodie bags and carnations.

Atlanta Falcons S Kemal Ishmael, DB Jordan Richards, TE Alex Gray, LB Richie Brown and P Matt Bosher stopped by North Atlanta High School Tuesday morning, surprising students and staff and joining in on an art project.

Matt Bosher, who was named the Falcons nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year in 2013, continues to give back to the community of Atlanta through various Play60 events and a number of other initiatives.

Falcons cheerleaders, Kayla and Elyse, and some players from North Atlanta's football team, joined the Falcons players and art students to participate in a gelli ink printing project.

Atlanta Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay, along with CB Brian Poole, LB Duke Riley, T Daniel Brunskill and FB Ricky Ortiz, visited Thomasville Heights Elementary School to participate in Playworks activities Tuesday morning.

The Atlanta Falcons Youth Foundation has been a partner of Playworks Georgia since before their regional launch in 2014. The partnership is a testament to the dedication that both organizations have to increasing kids' access to physical activity.

Falcons cheerleaders Haley and Veronica joined McKay and the Falcons players to help lead the students at Thomasville Heights through drills.

Atlanta Falcons DE Brooks Reid, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, G Brandon Fusco, TE Logan Paulsen and DT Justin Zimmer, teamed up with football players from Maynard Jackson High School to read to young students at Benteen Elementary School.

Logan Paulsen, another new face to the Falcons this season, is taking advantage of his Tuesday off-days, by jumping all in on outreach events. In addition to participating in Hometown Huddle, the nine-year veteran spent this past Tuesday evening at the Falcons annual Dazzle and Dine event which is held to honor and celebrate those currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, as well as breast cancer survivors.

Atlanta Falcons Owner & Chairman, Arthur M. Blank, along with Falcons T Ryan Schraeder, G Wes Schweitzer, LB De'Vondre Campbell and WR Justin Hardy, joined six Westside Works students to participate in a culinary class at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Arthur M. Blank Foundation has partnered with Westside Works to further the positive neighborhood transformation of the Westside community. Westside Works is a long-term neighborhood program focused on creating employment and job training for residents of the Westside community.

Juliet Peters taught the culinary class and featured a competition for the best pizza, where Falcons players were teamed up with Westside Works students to see who could make the best pizza.

Atlanta Falcons OLB Vic Beasley Jr., DL Jack Crawford, CB Desmond Trufant and CB Deante Burton, along with Executives Brett Jewkes and Chris Millman, joined together to visit Crossroad Community Ministries.

Before Desmond Trufant was selected by the Falcons in the 2013 NFL Draft, he was helping his older brother, Marcus, and their family with the Trufant Family Foundation. Through the foundation, the family has raised money for student scholarships, donated clothes to Boys & Girls Club, visited schools to promote literacy and have hosted free football camps.

The group visited Crossroads to help prepare and serve meals to the homeless men and women in downtown Atlanta.

Tuesday morning also featured the Atlanta Falcons Women's Association surprising expecting Veterans' wives with a baby shower at the Arthur M. Blank Family Office.

The Atlanta Falcons Women's Association - led by Angie Blank, Terrin McKay and Stacey Quinn, join together to organize initiatives throughout the year to give back to the city of Atlanta.

Angie Blank, Terrin McKay and Stacey Quinn were in attendance to surprise the mothers-to-be with baby essentials such as strollers, baby carriers, car seats, a diaper genie and other goodies.

Created By
Alex Aiello
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Atlanta Falcons

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