Our readership has grown a ton over this last year, so many of you with us now may not know that we are proud of our offseason tradition of using our little corner of the internet to do some really great things.
Most recently, the readers of Vikings Territory amazingly banded together and raised more than a thousand dollars for a young girl named Dakota. Dakota has Pulmonary Hypertension and the generosity of our followers allowed me to deliver two customized Vikings jerseys, one for Dakota and one for her little brother, as well as a sizable check to help the family out with their increasingly burdening medical expenses.
With another offseason well underway, I got to work early on and enlisted some help, as I wanted this year’s efforts to be even more far-reaching and meaningful as ever before.
The bar is officially raised.
We have a $10,000 goal this year. We’re competing with other great Vikings sites to make it happen. Oh, and we have Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway on board.
All the details after the jump.
Months and months ago, I had asked my sister in Minneapolis for help identifying an important effort that VT could help out with this offseason. She is not really a sports fan, so I was somewhat amazed when she told me something along the lines of “Why don’t you raise funds for Chad Greenway’s Foundation?”
Admittedly, it wasn’t until that moment that I realized exactly how widespread and genuine Chad Greenway’s charitable efforts have been over the years. Of course, I knew him to be one of the NFL’s “good guys” that always seemed to be making headlines for the right reasons, but my sister making this suggestion showed me that I greatly underestimated how much impact he was making outside of the normal NFL spin machine.
When I pitched this idea to Chad he was all for it and we got to work narrowing down what exactly we were going to try and accomplish. After all, the Lead the Way Foundation has a very large menu of worthy causes.
Greenway, alongside his wife Jenni, started Lead The Way in 2008 and have committed themselves to the community time and time again. The Foundation is estimated to have made an impact in the lives of over 350,000 people in the Twin Cities area. Programs such as the TendHER Heart Luncheon, Field of Dreams, and last weekend’s annual Gridiron Gallop have become beacons of light in the area as sustainable programs increasing the quality of life for so many.
In the end, it was the “Chad’s Locker” program that caught my attention as something I thought the online community of Vikings fans could really rally around in support.
Chad’s Lockers are located in area hospitals and provide patients and their families access to notebook computers, video game systems, movies and more to help them feel more comfortable during extended stays away from home.
It was in March of 2012 that Lead the Way launched their first Chad’s Locker. That one is located at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital. The Greenway’s have remained committed to the program and there are now four others in place with a sixth planned to be unveiled this fall.
Other hospitals currently hosting a Locker are Children’s Minneapolis Hospital, Hudson Hospital and Clinics, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota St. Paul, and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in the Ronald McDonald Family Room.
Greenway’s charitable heart has garnered support from corporate sponsors such as Mall of America, Radisson, iHeart Media, Northwestern Mutual, Hilton, and (of course) Manny’s Quality Steaks.
Now, that long list of supporters will include Vikings Territory and all of our other favorite Vikings sites that have accepted our friendly fundraising challenge. That list includes Daily Norseman, Vikings Corner, VikeFans, and Vikings Journal.
This challenge, obviously fun in nature with a collaborative end goal of making a big difference, is to find out which readership of which site can make the biggest impact.
Cumulatively, our sites have a goal of raising over $10,000 to provide much needed continuing funding for the existing Chad’s Lockers listed above. Chad’s Foundation has set up this page to make your donation on behalf of your favorite Vikings fan site and get the competition underway (you can select your site of preference after the donation is placed).
The “winning” site, to be finalized prior to the regular season opener, will receive this digital “More Than Words” trophy to be proudly displayed on their website over the next year… when we will hopefully be gearing up for an enthusiastic round two of what has (again, hopefully) become an annual event.
As always, I so very much appreciate anyone that decides to participate through a donation. I also appreciate anyone that shows their support by simply spreading the word. We plan to have continued coverage of the effort, pertinent interviews, and possibly some on-location stories showing just how valuable the Chad’s Locker program is to Minnesota families going through the hardest of times.
Thank you to Chad and Jenni Greenway, the fine folks at the Lead the Way Foundation, my sister, the caring staff of contributors here at VT, and all of you wonderful readers that make up the online community of Vikings fans. I hope we can reach our ambitious goal, have some fun as a group, and help Chad Greenway win 2015’s NFL Man of the Year award.