June 27, 2024

20 Years, 20 Friends: New England Patriots Foundation

Our next honoree in our 20 Years, 20 Friends series – in celebration of our 20th anniversary in 2024 – has partnered with us in many ways to not only support our Achievers and their families, but to also provide much-needed resources to our staff – New England Patriots Foundation and the Kraft family.

Congratulations to the New England Patriots Foundation and the Kraft family for being a part of our 20 Years, 20 Friends countdown!

New England Patriots Foundation and the Kraft family have been laser focused on making tangible and lasting impacts on youth and families in and around Boston and throughout New England. Since 2018, they have invested in our growth including helping us move to our current Roxbury headquarters in 2019.

The New England Patriots Foundation and the Kraft family have shown long-time support for our Achievers. They generously host our Achievers and their families yearly for our Gingerbread Party at Gillette Stadium, welcome Achievers to their training area to meet and learn from plays and cheerleaders, and they provide other opportunities for Achievers to meet Pat Patriot. Being able to hold our Gingerbread celebration at Gillette has become a tradition our families can not wait for every year!

In 2019, Robert Kraft gave a $50,000 gift – part of a $100,000 challenge campaign that exceeded its goal and raised a total of $147,665– that catalyzed the organization’s move to Roxbury, doubling the amount of program space and allowing Friends-Boston’s leadership to begin planning for future growth to extend its impact in Boston and beyond

In 2022, the New England Patriots awarded our Executive Director, Yi-Chin Chen, with the NFL’s Inspiring Change Changemaker Award for her 20+ year career to working with marginalized youth and families. This new program not only came with a $10,000 award for the organization, but it also offered an opportunity to highlight the impactful work done by Yi-Chin as the leader of the Friends-Boston team.

In March of 2023, our Achiever Leadership Council (ALC), hosted Robert Kraft for a visit to see the space he helped make possible for us to move to and renovate. The ALC had some great questions for Mr. Kraft as well as educating him about the issues the were facing in their communities and at their schools. They even threw in a few pop culture questions about Mr. Kraft’s sneakers and of course Mr. Kraft came ready with lots of Patriots swag.

In June 2023, we were chosen by the New England Patriots Foundation and Bank of America as one of six new Community Captains - a joint charitable initiative that was created in 2021 to build deeper relationships with nonprofits and strengthen the impact on the populations they serve. As a Community Captain, we received a $50,000 donation. Additionally, for two years, we will also receive professional development workshops hosted by Kraft Sport Group and Bank of America, in-kind donations, visits from the Patriots Foundation and Bank of America key staff, access to additional training, mentorship and support including Bank of America’s Better Money Habits program, and more.

One June 14, 2024, we were excited to welcome Josh Kraft, President of the New England Patriots Foundation, to our 2024 Friend Raiser to honor the Foundation with The Power of One Award. His words were inspiring, and we appreciated him taking time from his schedule to celebrate our 20th anniversary. Our 10-year-old Achiever who introduced the New England Patriots and Josh Kraft got her own standing ovation and shared how important it is to be in the new space and how much her family loves the Gingerbread Party at Gillette.

We’re grateful for the outstanding partnership and support that the New England Patriots, New England Patriots Foundation, the Kraft family, and their employees have shown to Friends-Boston over the years. We look forward to continuing to partner with them to bring about lasting generational change within the lives of youth and their families in and around Boston and throughout New England.