NFL Week 12 might have ended in disappointment for the New England Patriots, but one of their members can still look back fondly on the week that was. Jonathan Jones was recognized for his work off the field, getting named NFLPA Community MVP.
Jones, 29, received the honor for his charitable efforts leading up to Thanksgiving — including hosting a tailgate in Auburn and a Thanksgiving dinner for 250 Boston kids in need.
“It’s an honor being selected as the NFLPA’s Community MVP recipient,” Jones said via an NFLP press release. “My foundation, the Jonathan Jones Next Step Foundation, has pillars of education, mentorship and building practical life skills. As a professional athlete, it’s important for me to serve the communities that I am playing in.”
Jones spent the Patriots’ Week 10 bye return to his college roots at Auburn, hosting a tailgate that raised money to fight food insecurity. Enough funds were secured to feed 450 local families on days Auburn City Schools are closed for the holidays.
His weekend in Auburn also saw him host a campus visit for 10 football recruits. Jones covered travel, lodging and meals for the prospects with a small-high school background.
Upon his return to New England, Jones organized a Thanksgiving dinner for 250 kids at the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club in Boston and furthermore distributed food to an additional 100 members of the community. He also participated in a flag football game with local children.
“The New England community has welcomed the team and players with open arms,” Jones said. “We wouldn’t be who we are without their support, so I was honored to be able to enjoy a Thanksgiving dinner with the Blue Hill Boys & Girls Club.”
In honor of Jones being named Community MVP, the NFLPA will make a $10,000 donation to a charity or foundation of his choice. He furthermore will become eligible for this year’s Alan Page Community Award, alongside the other winners this season.
That group also includes one of his teammates: New England special teamer Cody Davis, who will miss the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, was named Community MVP in Week 3. The Patriots are therefore the first organization in the NFL this season to see two of their players get honored for their off-field impact.