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Pandemic Restrictions Won't Stop Cardinals From Helping Needy

Players can't attend community events but they go on with virtual rules

Cornerback Patrick Peterson's Zoom message plays for families taking part in his recent turkey giveaway for Thanksgiving.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson's Zoom message plays for families taking part in his recent turkey giveaway for Thanksgiving.

Patrick Peterson made sure his foundation was still able to distribute the turkeys and other Thanksgiving food to needy families this year, although for the first time he couldn't be part of it.

Instead, he taped a message played to those who stopped by, a necessary step in this time of COVID-19.

"It's kind of sad I am not able to be there and interact with the families and the people in the community because that's when I believe you are able to gain a greater rapport with the community," Peterson said. "Asking them what we could do better in terms of helping the community.

"For me, there is nothing like seeing that joy in person."

For Peterson and other Cardinals who are giving back this holiday season, in person would always be better. But it's impossible, as the players try and stay as isolated as possible in an attempt to maneuver through the rest of the season.

Among the community work done lately:

  • The Cardinals' offensive line donated $20,000 to St. Mary's Food Bank, accounting for 1,500 turkeys;
  • Running back Kenyan Drake virtually hosted a Thanksgiving meal for the Boys and Girls Club in Gilbert;
  • Injured defensive lineman Corey Peters held his annual turkey giveaway for those in need at South Pointe Elementary School in Phoenix;
  • Linebacker Isaiah Simmons teamed with Raising Cane's for meals for a local Boys and Girls Club;
  • Cornerback Jace Whittaker, not only an undrafted rookie but on the practice squad, donated $3000 to needy families and teachers at Gililland Middle School in Tempe, accounting for 40 family-sized meals;
  • Quarterback Kyler Murraydonated about 500 meals to kids and hospital workers at Phoenix Childrens Hospital.

Then there is Peterson, who through his Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success worked with United Food Bank for the distribution at Eisenhower Elementary in Mesa.

"The job is not done," Peterson said. "Honestly this is the most important time that they need us, because now they don't have jobs, they don't have income or anywhere to turn for food or supplies for their kids. This time is more important than any other time they had.

"We want to still show we are here to help."

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