There was a time in the not-so-distant past that when you heard the words “Minnesota Vikings” and “community service” together, it had something to do with a court of law. Thankfully, in recent years, that hasn’t been the case. The Vikings are a huge part of the Twin Cities community, and they’ve been doing a lot of good work in recent weeks, months, and years.
We hear every year about the Vikings’ annual playground build, where they pick a school in the area during OTAs and put together a new playground from the kids to use from the bottom up. But the team does a great deal more for the community than that.
On most Tuesdays, you can find members of the Vikings out in the Twin Cities area doing any number of good deeds. Just this past week, we had four members of the Vikings. . .linebacker Eric Kendricks, wide receiver Laquon Treadwell, tight end Kyle Carter, and running back Bronson Hill. . .make their way out to put together food baskets in conjunction with Second Harvest Heartland to combat hunger in the Twin Cities. The week prior, other members of the team went to Minneapolis North High School as a part of their “Community Tuesday” to talk to some of the youth.
It isn’t just a once per week thing, either. Every year for the past seven years, former Vikings linebacker. . .and it still feels strange to type that. . .Chad Greenway has hosted his annual “Waiter Night” at Manny’s Steakhouse, where members of the Vikings and other Twin Cities luminaries wait on tables for a good cause.
And we certainly couldn’t talk about all the good the Vikings have done in the community without mentioning the Vikings Children’s Fund, which is now the Minnesota Vikings Foundation. The Vikings Children’s Fund enhanced the lives of numerous children in the Twin Cities over the years, and the Minnesota Vikings Foundation looks ready to continue that legacy by concentrating on getting children up and active in our increasingly sedentary society.
We know that all of the bad things that football players do is quickly splashed onto the front page of the local newspapers and at the top of every website. . .after all, it’s something that we’re guilty of, too. But it’s important that we point out things like this as well. Frankly, after the way things used to be, I’m incredibly proud of the role the Minnesota Vikings play in the Twin Cities community today, and I’m guessing that their role is only going to expand.