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2016-17 Season of Giving: Devils Food, Coat, and Toy Drive Details

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The New Jersey Devils announced their annual food, coat, and toy drives through a press release today. This post has the release and a short reaction to the news.

Los Angeles Kings v New Jersey Devils - Game One
Food, coat, and toy drives - all coming to the Rock.
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

In this late afternoon, I received a release from the New Jersey Devils announcing details for their annual charitable drives. That’s right, the Devils will have a Food Drive, a Coat Drive, and a Toy Drive as they have had for years. I personally enjoy these events because it’s good to give, it’s good to help others, and it’s good that the Devils host these events even though there is no requirement stating that they have to do so. Here is the text of the emailed press release I received:

NEWARK, N.J. (November 9, 2016) – The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center will hold their annual Food Drive, in collaboration with Goya Foods and in support of Community FoodBank of New Jersey (CFBNJ), on Saturday, November 12 as the Devils take on the Buffalo Sabres at 7 p.m. The event is the first of three community drives set for this season, with the team and arena’s annual Coat and Toy Drives scheduled for November 25 and December 9, respectively. Tickets for all three games can be purchased at NewJerseyDevils.com/tickets.

Devils fans attending Saturday’s game who would like to help their New Jersey community members in need are encouraged to bring canned and non-perishable food items to Prudential Center. Devils players and coaches’ wives, members of the Devils Fan Club and volunteers from the CFBNJ will collect food items at entrances around the arena starting when doors open at 6 p.m. Devils fans who bring 10 or more items for donation will receive a voucher for two tickets to a 2016-17 regular season Devils game.

Goya Foods, the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States and a major supporter of New Jersey community organizations and initiatives, will match all donations pound for pound. Between fan donations and Goya’s match, the Devils collected 30,972 pounds of food last November.

The Food Drive will kick off Prudential Center and the Devils’ community drives season as the first of three annual initiatives. PSEG will be the presenting partner for the Devils’ Coat Drive on November 25 as the team takes on the Red Wings at 7:30 p.m. PSEG volunteers will take part in the event by helping to collect coats brought to the arena. More than 1,500 coats were collected last season in support of Jersey Cares.

PSEG has partnered with Jersey Cares for more than 20 years and has collected thousands of coats for those in need throughout New Jersey. For its efforts, Jersey Cares has recognized PSEG with the Winter Warrior award for a mid-sized company for its continued support and above and beyond contributions.

The Devils’ annual Toy Drive, benefitting the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots program, will take place on December 9 when the Devils face the Blues at 7:30 p.m. Fans who donate two or more coats or toys will also receive a voucher for two tickets to a 2016-17 regular season Devils game. Devils fans donated 6,323 toys last December.

In addition to all donations made on site at Prudential Center throughout the drives, the community partners involved with each will be the recipient of that evening’s 50/50 raffle proceeds.

This is mostly what they did last season and it was good in my opinion. Giving out vouchers for future games for donating ten or more food items, two or more coats, and two or more toys provides an additional incentive for fans to participate. That’s worth doing. Having Goya match the food drive bolsters that event. The proceeds of the 50/50 raffles going to the various charity groups involved with each drive is also an additional way for people to contribute. This is all good.

My only quibble is the timing of this announcement. Sure, there’s more than enough time to purchase or find coats for the November 25 game against Detroit. There’s even more time to buy toys for the December 9 game against St. Louis. But the Food Drive is this Saturday and its already Wednesday. If the announcement was made last week, at the beginning of the week, or even at last night’s game (Saturday is Military Appreciation Night, which was mentioned. Nothing about the food drive that I could recall), then it would be a little easier for some to go out and buy food ahead of the event. Especially since the incentive for tickets is ten or more items. If you want to contribute, then you should hit the store within the next few days.

All the same, I’m glad the Devils put out a formal announcement of these charitable incentives. Again, they’re good ways to help others for those who go to the games. Please participate in any or all of them if you can.