To raise awareness and support for Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota non-profit organization Matter distributed donated items to 10 Minnesota women???s shelters at the Matter warehouse.
The Minnesota Vikings were recognized last month for their off-field efforts and involvement in the community.
The franchise received the "2016 Company That Matters" award on behalf of **Matter**, a nonprofit working to expand health to all individuals, whether next door or around the world.
The Vikings were honored at the organization's 16th annual gala, "A Night to Matter," which was held at the Sun Country Airlines Cargo Hangar in Bloomington. Among those recognized were Vikings Chief Operating Officer Kevin Warren; Brett Taber, Director of Youth Marketing and Social Responsibility; and Tami Krause, Director of Women's Initiatives.
"Matter is an organization near and dear to the hearts of my family and the Minnesota Vikings," said Warren, who presented Matter with a personal donation at the gala. "The Vikings strive to be best in class and make a difference in the Twin Cities and surrounding communities, and we are extremely grateful to partner with Matter in these efforts.
"We at the Vikings are incredibly grateful for the support and latitude we receive from the Wilf Family Ownership Group that enables us to connect with and impact the Twin Cities community and those in need," Warren added. "On behalf of the Wilf family and the entire organization, it is an honor and privilege to receive the Company That Matters award."
Conversely, Matter President Quenton Marty said the Vikings were an easy choice as recipient for the award.
"When Matter began partnering with the Minnesota Vikings and Kevin Warren, it was an incredible opportunity to hear and see the vision of a man who is leading one of the greatest organizations in town [and] his drive to engage not only the Vikings as a company but the entire Vikings network from corporate sponsors to fans," Marty said. "The Vikings are so much more than just a great football team, but a true 'Company that Matters' leveraging their influential brand and voice as a force for good, creating a tremendous impact not only in our community but communities around the world."
Matter's impact is felt far beyond the Twin Cities. Partners include the Minnesota Timberwolves, U.S. Bank and the Starkey Foundation, and the following are among additional projects made possible by Matter and its sponsors:
• Collaborated with partners Iris Global and Feed My Starving Children to alleviate some of the pressures of food insecurity, shipping 272,000 meals for those in the Malawi, Africa, villages.
• In partnership with AgapeMED – shipped a 40-foot container of life-saving medical equipment and supplies to outfit Melka Oda Hospital in Ethiopia. The shipment included hospital beds, exam tables, dental chairs, an ultrasound, and 533 boxes of medical supplies.
• Partnered with Cambria to provide a fire truck to the community of David, Panama.
Gala attendees enjoyed an evening of socializing and small-plate dining as well as interactive experiences highlighting Matter's work. Celebrity guests at the event included Gene Simmons, Darius Rucker, Timberwolves center Gorgui Dieng and "Voice of the Vikings" Paul Allen.
Guests were also able to peruse a silent auction and bid on items such as guitars signed by Simmons and Rucker, courtside seats at a Timberwolves game and the opportunity to throw out a first pitch at a Twins game next season.
The Vikings connection with Matter started a year ago. In October 2015, the Vikings did a gate collection at the University of Minnesota for women's hygiene products, and ultimately $170,000 worth of products were donated to eight local women's shelters.
In August, the Vikings Women initiative provided a unique experience at training camp in Mankato, Minnesota, where fans **joined MATTER in packing more than 1,000 boxes** of non-perishable food for Minnesotans in need. Fans will have a similar opportunity on Oct. 9, where they can team up with Matter to pack boxes at U.S. Bank Stadium before the Texans game.