The Oakland Raiders, once again, prove through a very generous act that they are one of the classiest franchises in the NFL. Those of us in the Raider Nation, of course, know this to be true, but perhaps some of the fans from opposing teams might be a little surprised by their recent honorable gesture.
With the Oakland school district facing a severe financial hardship, including teacher layoffs and program cuts, the Raiders have decided that for every season ticket purchased between May 1 and June 30, they will donate 10 percent of its gross to the Oakland public schools. With tickets priced between $260 - $1,510 this could be a rather substantial donation.
Many schools throughout our nation are experiencing similar problems, and this could just spur other NFL franchises to follow suit. Our children's education should really be one of the biggest priorities in this country, and I'm thankful the team I love is coming through where they're needed the most.
Perhaps this will also be another good sign in the eyes of the City of Oakland for giving the team the new stadium they desperately need. I believe it's a win-win situation, the Raiders' home is in Oakland and the city would not be the same without them.
This generous donation is certainly not the only time they've come through in the community. Many of the players donate their time and money to great causes.
Earlier this month tight end Brandon Myers visited students from the Bridges From School To Work program in San Leandro, Calif., during National Volunteer Week. Myers gave the students advice on how to be successful on a job interview and the kids learned priceless lessons that included the value of working hard and being a team player.
Many players often take the time to visit young patients at Children's Hospital in Oakland, and in February, several players, alumni and Raiderettes delivered baskets as part of the Basket of Hope program. Mary Kelly, Manager of Child Life Services, remarked, "We always love when the Raiders come and visit us and for them to be our representatives from the NFL and come and visit our kids and hand out these baskets and really make a connection with the families is truly awesome. Again, it just strengthens our connection here in Oakland with our team, the Raiders."
Of course Oakland fans themselves are rather big givers in the community and beyond. Kathy Samoun is a life long Raider fan who started the non-profit organization, "Fans Against Violence." Her group aims to improve and enhance game day experiences at professional sports venues in the Bay Area and across the nation.
I feel very fortunate to be part of such a caring group of people, just another reason to be proud to be a member of the Raider Nation.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kcdermodywriter.
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