A day after playing in their biggest game of the season, the Ravens will return to Maryland for their biggest volunteer effort ever.
On Monday, the organization is holding its “Caw to Action,” a statewide volunteer initiative as part of the NFL’s “Huddle for 100.” In honor of its 100th season, the league has asked its fans, players and teams to help accumulate 100 million minutes of community service.
The Ravens have partnered with the United Way of Central Maryland and a number of charitable organizations to host over 50 events throughout the state. Dozens of schools and companies will also be hosting their own events, according to the team.
“Basically, we’re saying, ‘All right, community. Come join us. Let’s do some stuff together,’ ” Ravens senior director of community relations Heather Darney said in an interview last week. “Because we can do so much, but together we can do more. So we really just want to be using whatever leverage we have as an NFL football team here in Baltimore to have this bullhorn to say: ‘Let’s do something great together. Just join us.’ ”
The Ravens said in a news release Thursday that they expect over 15,000 volunteers and a combined 2 million-plus minutes of community service Monday. According to the NFL’s leaderboard, as of Thursday night, the Dallas Cowboys led all teams this month with about 1.1 million minutes of service.
After coming back from Sunday’s high-profile showdown against the Kansas City Chiefs, Ravens players will help out at various events Monday along with notable team alumni, executives, staff members, coaches and cheerleaders. A pair of tickets to the Ravens’ Oct. 13 home game against the Cincinnati Bengals will be given away at each event site, and two volunteers will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Miami for the Super Bowl.
Volunteers can sign up at baltimoreravens.com/huddlefor100. The team is asking participants to document their efforts on social media by including a hashtag, #RavensHuddlefor100, which the NFL uses to help determine service time. Teams with the most volunteer minutes will receive a community-focused grant from the NFL Foundation, with one $100,000 grant awarded for a community project at the end of the year.
Many of the initiative’s events will be held in Baltimore city, with others in Baltimore, Harford, Carroll, Howard and Anne Arundel counties. Service activities include sorting books in the Ravens Bookmobile, harvesting crops, serving food to the homeless, assembling care packages for soldiers and making no-sew blankets for the Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter.
Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr, who will be reading at an elementary school, called it “an incredible opportunity to give back to the community of Baltimore, the city that is always amazing, to get back with the fans and all the volunteers to just make our community better.”
“I’ve seen my parents do it my whole life. The impact they had — it just motivated me and moved me to have this platform but use it in a positive way,” he said Wednesday. “That’s what it’s all about. It’s making your mark on the society.”