Rob Gronkowski is one of the best tight ends in NFL history and a party animal, but he’s also perhaps the most charitable member of the New England Patriots.
ESPN’s Mike Reiss wrote a piece about the Patriots tight end’s generosity Thursday, and it shows a side of Gronk most people aren’t used to hearing about. While his fantastic play and wild lifestyle get most of the spotlight, his charity work usually falls by the wayside.
“I don’t think that Rob has ever had a bad day,” Patriots owner Robert Kraft said, per Reiss. “His happy-go-lucky attitude is infectious, which makes him a great ambassador when he is out in the community.”
Gronkowski’s most recent event was on Oct. 20 at Holten Richmond Middle School in Danvers, Mass., after two parents won a visit through an auction at the Patriots Charitable Foundation gala. And the staff was impressed with Gronkowski when he stopped by.
“He was so accessible to the kids, down to earth,” school principal Adam Federico told Reiss. “He was at their level and they really enjoyed how authentic it was to spend time with somebody like him. The message was great to the kids, about the importance of being involved with sports and activities in school, and I think they took it to heart.”
Gronkowski already has been to events at Boston Children’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital this year, as well as local pediatric cancer foundation One Mission’s annual “Buzz Off.” Gronk also is an active participant in the Patriots’ annual Thanksgiving Goodwill event and their children’s holiday party.
While the 26-year-old doesn’t always have the time for charity work with his busy NFL schedule, he makes sure to fit it in the best he can.
“You can’t do it all,” Gronkowski said. “You get many requests all the time, but I still have to focus on football, still have to live my life a little bit. But there are definitely times during the week when you want to take time out.
“I was always blessed growing up with opportunities and access to facilities, equipment, and playing with my brothers in the backyard to be the best athlete I could be. Everyone always helped me out growing up, and everyone now supports me Sunday. So whenever there’s a chance to give back, to the community, to the less fortunate kids so they have the opportunity to gain the most potential they can in their life to be successful, it’s always good to do.”
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images