MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The Miami Dolphins as part of the Junior Dolphins Donations presented by Baptist Health visited nine high schools and three youth parks throughout Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties to distribute "fit kits" as well as meals from the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program in an effort to support the healthy and active lifestyles of student-athletes facing athletic programming cancellations and closures due to COVID-19 concerns. Beginning Monday, Oct. 5 and concluding Saturday, Nov. 14, the Dolphins impacted 1,000 student-athletes by distributing 3,000 meals and 1,000 fit kits, which included cones, stretch bands, a jump rope and mask. The Dolphins also donated football equipment, electronics, uniforms and cleats to programs in need.
"The Miami Dolphins, in collaboration with Baptist Health, initiated these donations to support high school, youth athletes and schools by providing them with resources to practice and play despite challenges they have experience due to COVID-19," Miami Dolphins Senior Director of Community Affairs and Youth Programs RaShauna Hamilton said. "We wanted this program to be both intentional and impactful. With the food disparities currently faced by our community, we incorporated the Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program to give kids the meals they need to fuel their bodies and live healthy, active lifestyles as they return to play safely."
"We are proud to partner with the Miami Dolphins to provide these meals and equipment to high schools and youth parks across South Florida for the second consecutive year," Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute Chief Medical Executive and Miami Dolphins Team Physician Dr. John Uribe said. "In this unprecedented and challenging school year, it is more important than ever that we give our youth the equipment and tools to not only excel on the field but support a healthy lifestyle as well. As our partnership with the Dolphins expands, we look forward to continuing to positively impact the community in years to come."
This season, the Junior Dolphins Donations presented by Baptist Health visited Coral Reef Senior High School, G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School, John A. Ferguson Senior High School and Miami Senior High School in Miami-Dade County, Charles W. Flanagan High School, Coral Glades High School, McArthur High School and West Broward High School in Broward County, Boynton Beach High School and Royal Palm Beach High School in Palm Beach County as well as youth football programs including the Kendall Hammocks Warriors, Miami Xtreme Hialeah Cougars, and North Miami Beach Sundevils.
"You got people that actually care about you, want to give back to you and it feels good to see my teammates smile, to have something new for once and I want to thank the Miami Dolphins for looking out for us," Miami Senior High School student and football player Makai Lovett said.
"Under these circumstances we as a school, the kids, the staff, community and alumni, we needed something like this to happen," Miami Senior High School Athletic Director Leonard Graham said. "The Miami Dolphins went beyond. This was not expected and we are very grateful for being one of the schools for this great gesture they are providing us. A lot of our kids come from a household where they wouldn't see a meal like that or they actually come to school for a meal and that's what keeps them coming to school and to throw in something extra after school or after dinner is always a bonus."
This initiative is the Junior Dolphins' second annual donation in partnership with Baptist Health. In 2019, the Dolphins collaborated with Baptist Health to surprise six high school football teams with brand new football equipment. To date, this collaborative effort has impacted 18 youth football programs and more than 1,350 student athletes across South Florida.
The Junior Dolphins program encourages youth players and coaches to teach, learn and play football in a fun and safe environment. The Junior Dolphins program is designed to give kids access to learn the fundamentals of football using the NFL's top resources. To grow the game, the Junior Dolphins program will work to educate coaches, parents and youth on the health and safety of football with a strong emphasis on character development. Junior Dolphins is building the next generation of Dolphins Fans.