The Cleveland Browns community initiative First and Ten is close to celebrating its first birthday, and people are starting to notice the movement. Several teams around the league have reached out to the Browns about how to launch such a program.
"It's working," Director of Community Relations Jenner Tekancic said. "It's inspiring people to serve the community. And that's ultimately what we want to do. And not just in Cleveland."
The Browns became the first NFL team to introduce a global volunteering campaign, encouraging Browns fans anywhere and everywhere to #give10 hours in whatever capacity they deem in the community – coaching youth sports, feeding the homeless or volunteering at a local hospital. It's your choice.
In honor of the NFL draft and to promote First and Ten, the Browns set up their own "draft" Wednesday at University Hospital in Cleveland, targeting newcomers to the #Give10 movement. What better audience to target than doctors, nurses, surgeons and other hospital workers?
The Browns' booth at the lovely atrium inside University Hospital was jam-packed with curious hospital employees wanting to know more. Browns community staffers explained the First and Ten program and, if a person signed up, they received a free Browns tote bag, a #give10 wrist band and they posed for pictures with Browns linebacker Keith Pough.
In addition to the First and Ten Draft, several Browns players visited with children at Rainbow Babies. Alongside Pough was running back Isaiah Crowell, linebacker Chris Kirksey, punter Spencer Lanning, kicker Garrett Hartley and defensive back Johnson Bademosi, who, just like their fellow Dawg Pound members, are committed to #give10 hours, all throughout the year.
"Without the fans and without the people of the community, there is no Cleveland Browns," Pough said. "It speaks volumes to our community when people can see us, touch us and be around us like here today. We can help spread the movement."
The Browns First and Ten program is about inspiring Browns fans to make their community better by giving back 10 hours of community service. Share your story of how you are making a difference on http://www.clevelandbrowns.com/community/firstandten.html or use #give10. Follow @BrownsGiveBack on Twitter and Instagram for community updates