CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers hosted their third annual Keep Pounding Day on Friday, June 4, throughout communities in Charlotte and Rock Hill.
The organization-wide day of service was first initiated in 2019 by Dave and Nicole Tepper to engage all of the team's employees and staff in community projects to help deliver on the organization's mission for service and giving back.
Due to the pandemic last spring, the organization pivoted to virtual service opportunities.
This year, staff members took part in four distinct projects, including three in-person and one virtual.
"Today was a special day for our organization as we gave time, energy and resources to support several non-profit agencies which provide critical services in our community," said President of Tepper Sports & Entertainment Tom Glick. "The opportunity to come together as a staff and provide real hands-on assistance to these community groups was meaningful for all involved."
Staff went to the Urban Farm at Aldersgate to help with gardening, harvesting, and upkeep. Located on Charlotte's east side, the farm's mission is to "nourish, educate and inspire the community, while continuing to foster intergenerational, multicultural connectivity" in Charlotte's east side. The farm serves as both a food source and a learning lab.
"When we are able to bring a team of volunteers out like this with the Panthers and Lowe's support it further builds collaboration with our farm team and our community partners," Carolina Farm Trust President and CEO Zack Wyatt said. "Keep Pounding Day fits right in with our work ethic with The Urban Farm at Aldersgate because regardless of the weather or if we are tired, we have to come together to Keep Pounding to get the work done."
Another project group went to the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club off Charlotte's Milton Road. While helping to refurbish and refresh the on-site playground, the Panthers continued to support the organization's mission "to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens."
Panthers' staff also partnered with Lowe’s and Rebuilding Together for a landscaping and home repair project in Charlotte. Carolina and Lowe's have worked on several recent build projects in the community, including the recently-opened Veterans Bridge Home.
"As a Charlotte native, I have grown up hearing and seeing how involved the Panthers are in our community," said Rebuilding Together program manager Ryan Carter. "The homeowner was so humbled and appreciative of the hard work of the team, and he's looking forward to having friends and family over soon to enjoy the reclaimed yard. With the generous support of the Panthers, Rebuilding Together will be able to make an even more transformative impact in the Lakeview Community."
Finally, there was a virtual book reading for students from the Rock Hill area, emphasizing the ever-important need for literacy and love of reading among youth.
"We are grateful for this impactful opportunity to be part of Keep Pounding Day with the Panthers," said Amanda B. Haskin, Executive Director of the Rock Hill Schools Education Foundation. "Research shows that reading every day is a key to success for students and we're thankful that the Panthers organization helps to encourage this success. Each student involved in this program was so excited to receive their shirt and book and engage with the Panthers guest reader."
Along with the physical donations of time and energy, the Panthers also made financial donations to each group. The Panthers and Lowe's made a combined $10,000 donation to the Urban Farm at Aldersgate, while the Panthers made donations of $5,100 (in honor of No. 51 Sam Mills and Keep Pounding) to the other charitable groups.
On Friday. Tepper Sports & Entertainment celebrated the Panthers' third annual Keep Pounding Day, an organizational-wide day of service. Staff participated in local projects addressing food insecurity, housing, youth health and wellness and literacy.