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For Thanksgiving, Ravens are in the community to help the needy

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Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

We as fans can forget quite quickly that football players are people first and foremost. They are individuals that have been granted the chance to play the greatest game in the world and make a lot of money doing so. Every now and again, we get clued into some things that the players and team does to help it's community. Not out of necessity or public relations, but out of the goodness of their hearts.

As we all sit down with our families and loved ones to enjoy too much food and drink, today is the time where most of us begin to think of those less fortunate. The time of the year where guys dressed as Santa stand in front of department stores to ask for change in order to bring the necessities to less privileged. The time of the year when random people go out of their way to buy the groceries for those in front of them, all because it brings a smile to others' faces.

The Ravens have spent the last month stepping up in the community to do a bunch of things. Not to sign autographs or get people to purchase more tickets like is normal for guest appearances, but to ladle food onto plates for the homeless, or to help accept donations of food to provide Thanksgiving dinner for underserved Baltimore families. Unlike a lot of other cities, current and former players stick their noses back in Baltimore during the holidays to help the city and those in need. Players like Bart Scott, Jameel McClain, Torrey Smith, and even Ray Rice all continue to come back when they don't live anywhere near here, because Baltimore is their second home and will forever be.

It's not a lot in the grand scheme of things and it certainly isn't enough for those that need the help, but these players and the team as a whole do far more than they could so that families can get a day like ours. So while we stuff our faces, let's remember that our Ravens took time away from their families to help other households.

Saturday, Nov. 21

Ravens Players Host Photos with Santa Event

On Saturday (11/21), Ravens LS Morgan Cox, DE Lawrence Guy, G/C Ryan Jensen and OLB Courtney Upshaw will host a "Photos with Santa" event at the Downtown Dog Resort. Fans are invited to bring their pets and take photos with the Ravens players. All proceeds will benefit Baltimore BARCS Animal Shelter and Care Shelter, Inc.

Monday, Nov. 23

CB Kyle Arrington Hosts Thanksgiving Food Collection

Ravens CB Kyle Arrington will be on hand to accept donations at the Food Lion Grocery Store in Cockeysville, MD to help provide Thanksgiving dinner for 250 underserved Baltimore families.

Seventh-Annual Boys & Girls Club Turkey Drive

RavensP Sam Koch will join CB Lardarius Webbto host his seventh-annual Turkey Drive, in partnership with the United Way. The players will distribute Thanksgiving turkeys and side dishes to local children and their families at the Webster Kendrick Boys & Girls Club.

Tenth-Annual Helping Up Mission Holiday Dinner

The tenth-annual holiday dinner at the Helping Up Mission men’s shelter in downtown Baltimore will be led by former RavensLB Bart Scott. Turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables, rolls and dessert will be a special meal for 350 men who live at and visit the shelter. The Mission is a residential facility where Scott and other Ravens players will serve dinner to the guests.

Bridges 11thAnnual Holiday Dinner

Bridges will welcome over 200 community members to St. Paul’s School for their 11thAnnual Holiday Dinner. Ravens

QB Matt Schaub and CB Lardarius Webb will be in attendance to speak to the students on the importance of leading an academic life.

Friday, Nov. 13

Ravens Players Host Marine Toys for Tots Drive

On Friday (11/13), Ravens WR/RS Michael Campanaro will be joined by WR Chris Givens and WR Breshad Perriman to host a toy drive at Howard High School (Ellicott City, Md.), prior to a 7 p.m. kickoff when the Lions host Mergenthaler Vo-Tech Mustangs for a home playoff game. Campanaro asks fans to bring with them a new, unwrapped toy or a pantry food item to be donated. Those who donate will have the opportunity to have memorabilia signed by the Ravens players in attendance and take photos. All items donated benefit the Marine Toys for Tots campaign.

Monday, Nov. 16

Baltimore Ravens and Parks & People Foundation Join the Baltimore Community Tool Bank

On Monday (11/16), Ravens LS Morgan Cox will join Ravens staff to partner with Parks & People Foundation to host a volunteer day at the Baltimore Community ToolBank, assistingwith thebeautificationof their Stormwater Factory. A short tour will also be included to see the greening projects Parks & People have been conducting with the ToolBank. This volunteer activity is part of the Ravens’ GamePlanEarth, a week of environmental initiatives led by the Ravens to help better the Baltimore community.For more information about the Baltimore Community ToolBank, please visit http://www.baltimore.toolbank.org/.

12th Annual Ravens Coat Giveaway

The Baltimore Ravens and the Lady Ravens Association will work together for the 12th Annual Ravens Coat Giveaway at the Helping Up Mission homeless shelter this Monday (11/16). Several Ravens players, includingWR Kamar Aiken,RB Javorius Allen, WR Marlon Brown, OLB Elvis Dumervil, CB/RS Asa Jackson, ILB Albert McClellan, ILB Daryl Smith,S Brynden Trawick,OLB Courtney Upshaw, CB/RS Lardarius Webb and TE Maxx Williams will distribute coats and warm weather gear to Baltimore men in need.

Ravens Host November Food Drive Final Collection Rally

On Monday (11/16), the Ravens will join the Maryland Food Bank (MFB) to host a final collection rally at the Clarksville Village of River Hill Plaza Giant Food store. Ravens DT Brandon Williamswill be on hand to personally thank those who make a donation and encourage fans to join him in the fight against hunger. Giant Food, the official supermarket and pharmacy of the Ravens, and proud title sponsor of Purple, will have pre-packaged boxes for only $10.These boxes will include the MFB’s most-needed food items. Fans are encouraged to attend and donate in an effort to reach the Ravens’ final collection goal of 20,000 pounds of food.

Southwest Airlines "Trading Places"

Baltimore Ravens players will surprise customers by taking on the role of Southwest Airlines customer service and operations agents this Monday (11/16) at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Southwest Airlines has invited RB Justin Forsett and FB Kyle Juszczykto trade places, where theywill make announcements and collect boarding passes from passengers.

Ravens PLAY 60 Youth Military Combine

Ravens players, including TE Nick Boyle, S Terrence Brooks, DT Carl Davis,TE Crockett Gillmore,DE Lawrence Guy, T James Hurst,CB/RS Asa Jackson,C Ryan Jensen, DE Kapron Lewis-Moore,ILB C.J. Mosley and G/T Kelechi Osemele will host a special youth football clinic this Monday (11/16) at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine (Baltimore, Md.). The event is designed for children whose parents currently serve or have served in the U.S. Military. Official mascot Poe and Ravens cheerleaders will also be in attendance for the clinic.

In conjunction with the NFL’s military appreciation Salute to Service and PLAY 60 campaigns, and Ravens RISE football outreach efforts, the Ravens will provide this opportunity to emphasize the importance of physical activity in their everyday lives. Through the continuation of the team’s support for America’s Armed Forces, the Ravens will host the clinic following their Salute to Service game vs. the Jacksonville Jaguars (11/15).

During the clinic, approximately 150 pre-registered youth participants will learn about the fundamentals of football with a military twist. Under the guidance of local football coaches, military personnel and Ravens players, the youth will rotate through stations of drills, including pass patterns, tire flips, heads-up tackling and a military agility run.

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Sixth-Annual 53 Families Thanksgiving Dinner

On Tuesday (11/17), Ravens DE Chris Canty and OLB Elvis Dumervil will join former Raven LB Jameel McClain in the Baltimore community when they partner with the Salvation Army Warehouse to extend a helping hand to families in need this holiday season. McClain will travel back to Baltimore to host his sixth-annual Thanksgiving dinner, where 53 families will be fed a hot meal complete with turkey and all the trimmings.