Photo of a Chicago Bear player sitting and talking with kids

For more than 40 years, United Way has teamed up with the National Football League (NFL) to drive lasting change in communities. So when El Valor, one of our community partners serving the South Chicago neighborhood, needed a hand to create an outdoor space for local youth, the NFL was eager to step up.

On Tuesday, the fruits of our longstanding partnership were shared with South Chicago neighbors at the first Hometown Huddle.

During this day of service and youth health and fitness, Chicago Bears players worked alongside volunteers from PNC Bank and United Way to prepare El Valor’s Rey B. Gonzalez Center for a new outdoor play area. The community space will include a playground, gardens, outdoor classroom and turf field.

Between landscaping projects, Bears rookies and alums played with kids and their parents, who excitedly welcomed the local superstars.

To deepen their commitment to their new South Side friends, Gary Fencik, a Chicago Bears alumnus and president of the Bears Care Board of Directors, also presented United Way with a check for $40,000 to fund the El Valor playspace. The players’ work at Hometown Huddle and the financial investment will bring the project to life.

While we’ve been partners for a long time, the impact of our collaboration, like the playspace, will be seen for decades to come. Learn more about United Way’s partnership with the Bears.