New England Patriots speak out during Foster Care Awareness Month

FOXBORO, MA – A startling statistic caught my attention as I stood inside the Cross Pavilion at Gillette Stadium: there are approximately 9,000 children living in foster care in the state of Massachusetts – but only 5,519 licensed foster care homes.

“I think for a lot of people, when they think of foster care, it’s uncomfortable, right?,” asks Matthew Slater, wide receiver for the New England Patriots. “You’re bringing someone into your home, maybe you’re a little bit unsure, but if you think about the children that are out there in need, and open your heart to that. You think about what it means to provide a child with stability, support and love and how that can set them up for the rest of their lives – it’s really one of the most selfless things they can do.”

Slater spoke openly alongside his mother-in-law Denise McNeely, who entered the foster care system at just 4 years old. “There’s an old gospel song that radiates in my heart, that says, ‘let the life I live speak for me’. The life I am living, and have lived, is because God protected me. Putting me in the foster care home that I lived in for 15 years.”

Perhaps one of the most captivating stories of the afternoon was that of Ty Montgomery, a New England Patriot whose mother fostered 17 children as he was growing up. Proudly, he spoke at length of the positive experience he had growing up with his siblings. “I understand the nervousness..the foster children are just looking for a place to rest. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually, physically – and they just need love.” Montgomery says this experience was the inspiration behind the My 10% Foundation.

As a thank you to those providing critical homes and resources to children in the Massachusetts foster care system, The New England Patriots Foundation & Robert Kraft provided each nonprofit in the audience 50 tickets to a Revolution game so youth and parents could enjoy a night out. “Our youth become increasingly hopeful about the future knowing there are people out there like yourself,” said Kraft during the announcement.

One of those recipients was Shane MacMaster, Director of Operations at Plummer Youth Promise – an organization that works to improve outcomes for young people in or at risk of entering state care through community engagement. His message to those looking to become a foster care family was simple: “You are needed.”

To learn more about or make a donation to the New England Patriots Foundation, visit To learn more about or make a donation to Plummer Youth Promise, visit

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