TAMPA (KLAS) — The NFL always makes it a point to give back to the host city and it has been no different this week in Tampa. All week long, the NFL has had a positive impact on this community.
“You know when we come into town we are here to not just play a game, but make an impact as well,” said Melissa Schiller, NFL director of community relations.
Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday the NFL has made it a point to get out in the Tampa Bay community and give back.
“The NFL people think about the football and that is exciting, but equally exciting are the legacy project that they are leaving behind here,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor.
The NFL organized more than 20 community outreach events throughout Super Bowl week including donating clothing to the Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
“We are part of the legal process so we have to often times that evidence is the clothing that the individual is wearing when they walk in the door. We have to take that clothing from them so to be able to provide them something besides scrubs, something besides a used T shirt or a pair of used shorts, we are able to provide brand new clothing, tags still on them in sizes that fit,” said Clara Reynolds, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay president and ceo.
NFL representatives as well as Captain Fear, the Buccaneers mascot delivered more than 100 items ranging from sweat pants and sports bras to hats and flip flops and even journals that are used as an emotional healing tool for survivors.
“I’ve sat with young woman and cried and I understand that feeling but to be able to give them new clothes that’s the beginning of the new start,” said Barbara Curts, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay chairman.
It’s a small gesture that portrays a huge message.
“I think that when the individual puts on something that has the NFL logo on it, it shows the NFL supports what is happening. By the NFL supporting it, the NFL is showing that individual in that moment that they are behind them and that they believe them and that can go so far in the healing process,” Reynolds said.
What fans will remember most about this week in Tampa will be whoever wins the NFL championship, but for hundreds and even thousands of locals the legacy of this week stretches far beyond the field.