Nothing lights up a young child’s face quite like a visit from a professional athlete. UnitedHealthcare teamed up with not one, but two pro football players in Tennessee this summer to help bring a little cheer and support to kids and their families.
Tennessee Titans Pro Bowl Safety Kevin Byard joined UnitedHealthcare volunteers for the third straight year to help give back to the Nashville community, distributing backpacks and school supplies to 350 students at John Early Middle School.
“Kevin has always been supportive of UnitedHealthcare initiatives, and he is a great partner as we help the communities we serve live healthier lives,” said Steve Wilson, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of the Mid-South. “We like to get involved and hope the supplies make it easier on families, as they prepare for the new school year.”
As many families in the area are still feeling the effects of the pandemic, the donation helps alleviate the burden of purchasing new school supplies for their children. The stuffed backpacks, donated by UnitedHealthcare, included all of the supplies needed for the upcoming school year, including pencils, markers, highlighters, notebooks, folders, headphones and more.
The event also gave families an opportunity to have a little fun. The W. Nashville Dream Center and the school’s faculty sponsored a block party with food, music and activities for families during the backpack distribution. The Community Resource Center also helped by donating school supplies to stock a teacher supply closet, so educators won’t have to pay for necessary supplies out of their own pockets.
In Knoxville, Tennessee, UnitedHealthcare volunteers worked with Kansas City Chiefs rookie and former Tennessee Volunteer Trey Smith to put smiles on the faces of 60 kids participating in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of East Tennessee mentorship program. Each child received a new pair of shoes and socks provided by UnitedHealthcare to encourage exercise and play.
“Just seeing how these kids were positively impacted by little things like getting new shoes, it’s a beautiful thing to see the excitement and joy on their face,” Trey said. “The youth are our future. Anything we can do to impact our future in a more positive fashion, we need to do that.”