The assembly line only grew as the day unfolded.
Browns player after Browns player worked hand in hand Tuesday with fellow Browns employees and volunteers from Elk & Elk preparing care packages and deployment bags for troops stationed overseas through the USO of Northern Ohio, a First and Ten community partner.
WR Antonio Callaway, TE Orson Charles, OL Austin Corbett, RB Duke Johnson Jr., K Greg Joseph, DB Damarious Randall, DB Denzel Rice, QB Drew Stanton and OL Earl Watford all took time out of their day off to lend a hand for a good cause.
“Anything we can do to help is awesome,” Joseph said. “At the end of the day these guys are the real heroes. What we do is miniscule level compared to them. They're putting their lives on the line. We all respect them, we all love them, we all wish them the best. Anything we can do to really give them hope and let them know we're behind them, I'm 100 percent in for.”
The Browns will further highlight their year-round commitment to local and national military appreciation by recognizing military personnel, veterans and their families at FirstEnergy Stadium during the Falcons-Browns game on Nov. 11.
“It really shows our appreciation and gratitude for all of those men and women who continue to serve our country not only through the care packages that will be sent overseas, but to those who will be deployed soon,” said Jenner Tekancic, Browns Vice President of Community Relations.
Browns players, staff and volunteers from Elk & Elk joined forces to assemble care packages for military members currently serving overseas or who are about to be deployed.
On top of providing volunteers, Elk & Elk also supported the event by providing additional volunteers and a financial contribution to ensure as many servicemen and servicewomen as possible received a parcel from the team.
“Putting together such a fun partnership of doing something with the Browns, but hands on for the community and especially for our troops means the world to us,” said Jay Kelley, managing parter at Elk & Elk. “Anyone can give a check, but to have some contact with the troops means the world.
“If you want to be a part of the community and claim to be helping the community, you actually have to do it. You need the money, but more importantly you need your feet on the ground actually helping the cause that matters the most.”
Through Browns Give Back, the Cleveland Browns are dedicated to #give10 through the team’s First and Ten initiative. Launched in June 2014, the Cleveland Browns First and Ten campaign is the team’s community program, established to inspire fans to volunteer in and help their communities throughout the world by volunteering for 10 hours each year. Through First and Ten, the Browns are the only NFL club to promote a long-term volunteering program that unifies the team and its entire fan base, with the goal of impacting every individual’s city across the globe, as well as the franchise’s local community. All Browns fans are encouraged to join the volunteering effort by signing the First and Ten pledge on the team’s website and by sharing their stories with #give10.
About the Cleveland Browns and Browns Give Back:
The Browns Give Back to Northeast Ohio with a commitment to education and youth football while engaging the community through the team’s signature First and Ten volunteer movement. For more information, visit www.clevelandbrowns.com/brownsgiveback.
About USO of Northern Ohio:
Since 1941, the USO of Northern Ohio has served as a private, civilian 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that receives no direct government funding but relies solely on the generosity of corporations, organizations and the American people. The USO of Northern Ohio touches the lives of nearly 50,000 active duty, guard and reserve military and their families throughout the 31-county region. For more than 75 years, the USO of Northern Ohio has provided morale, recreation and social services to US Armed Forces personnel and their families through its programs and services. USONO Center facilities are located in the Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS), Cleveland Hopkins Airport, the NOSC in Toledo, Youngstown Air Reserve Station and care package processing centers in Warren and West Geauga. The network of hundreds of volunteers donates nearly 20,000 hours of service annually in honor of these brave men and women.