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Former NFL football players worked side-by-side with local home builders and contractors late last month to renovate a section of St. Ann's Infant & Maternity Home in Hyattsville, Md.
The Home Builders Care Foundation (HBCF) of the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association (MNCBIA) coordinated the community service project, which converted an older, institutional-like section of the children's residential wing into a warm, comfortable living space.
"Every child and every family should have a safe, comfortable place that feels like home — whether it is temporary like here at St. Ann's or a permanent home — to call their own," said Calvin Snowden, president of the former players chapter of the Washington, D.C., NFL Players Association (NFLPA). "It is incredibly rewarding to be able to give back to the Washington, D.C., community through a project like this."
Former Washington Redskins who worked on the project included Brig Owens (1966-1977), Spain Musgrove (1967-1969), Ken Jenkins (1985-1986), Ed Simmons (1987-1997), and Frank Grant (1972-1978). John "Boomer" Stufflebeem (Detroit Lions, 1975-1979), Al Chesley (Philadelphia Eagles, 1979-1982) and John Booty (New York Jets, 1988-1990) also volunteered.
"This renovation will create a home-like atmosphere for hundreds of young children who temporarily don't have a place to call home and who receive care and comfort through St. Ann's Residential Program each year," said Hugh Carroll, president of HBCF.
Approximately 230 children ranging from two months to 12 years old who have been removed from their homes due to abuse, neglect or abandonment are provided with emergency placement and high-quality temporary care at St. Ann's each year.
"We looked forward to having the renovation done so that the kids have a nice, clean, homey space," said Sister Mary Bader, CEO of St. Ann's. "We are so blessed that these former NFL players and home builders are committed to helping improve the lives of our little ones."
"Even in the face of one of the worst business climates ever for the home building industry, it is inspiring that the members of the MNCBIA are still finding ways to give back to the community with projects such as this," said Marty Mitchell, president of the builders association.
This renovation is one of the first projects in a new NAHB/NFLPA charitable outreach program that is bringing together local home builders associations and former NFL players to strengthen communities around the nation by building or renovating homes for children or families in need and veterans.