Two weeks ago, before the Bucs took on the Falcons, Pro Bowl guard Davin Joseph sat under a tent in the South Plaza outside of Raymond James Stadium and met hundreds of Buccaneer fans, handing out autographs and, more importantly, signing up volunteers to join TEAM DAVIN.
Joseph, who had a little extra time on game day on his hands because he is on injured reserve, made the most of it, persuading local citizens to join him and the United Way by serving as volunteers, mentors and tutors in the Bay area. The effort was so successful that Joseph moved all the way up to second place on the leaderboard for the United Way’s “Live United” NFL team program.
And that’s not all – in the weeks that have followed, volunteers have continued to sign up for TEAM DAVIN online through Buccaneers.com. Now, with 1,350 volunteers successfully recruited, Joseph is alone at the top. His efforts have accounted for 15% of all the volunteers signed up throughout the NFL.
Each of the 32 NFL teams has designated one player to serve as their United Way spokesperson, as well as their leading activist in recruiting volunteers. Just behind Joseph is Houston’s Glover Quin, with 1,329 recruits. Those two and the New York Giants’ George Wilson are the only three players in the league who have surpassed 1,000 signees, with the next highest player coming in at 647.
Joseph isn’t sitting still, however. Once again, he will be greeting fans in the South Plaza before this Sunday’s game from 9:45 to 10:45. He will happily hand out autographs to new recruits, and everyone who signs up will be entered into a drawing to win a football autographed by Joseph and many of his Buccaneer teammates.
In the process, TEAM DAVIN is sure to grow even larger. The player who signs up the most new recruits between August 5 and December 30 will receive the principle star position in the 2013 NFL “Live United” nationally-broadcast public service advertisement, distributed by the Ad Council. The winner will also be featured on the United Way’s 2013 NFL schedule, which is distributed nationwide.
A victory for Joseph would also have a positive impact on education in the Bay area. The NFL market of the winning player will receive a $10,000 grant to be spent on an education project involving that player.
So sign this Sunday for TEAM DAVIN and make a difference in the Bay area community.