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Blank Family of Businesses Kick Off New Community Initiative


For the past two seasons, Hollywood A-list actor Samuel L. Jackson and a number of Georgia icons have encouraged fans throughout Falcons Nation to "Rise Up."

This year, the Falcons organization is encouraging all fans to sign up, show up and together watch our city Rise Up.

"The idea is a simple one," Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay said. "In addition to wanting our fans to help us become the best team in the NFL on the field, we also want our fans to Rise Up and volunteer their time and talents throughout the year in an effort to make our great community a better place to live."

The initiative kicked off Thursday as the Falcons kicked off the volunteer program by participating in the fourth annual All-Associates Day, when more than 180 associates from the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Falcons Physical Therapy Centers, PGA TOUR Superstores, AMB Group and The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation – collectively known as the Blank Family of Businesses – joined together to make a difference in the community.

The group met at City of Refuge – a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families become stable, secure and productive. Located less than two miles west of the Georgia Dome, the City of Refuge serves neighborhoods where the majority of the residents struggle to overcome their circumstances.

"City of Refuge exists to help those in crisis 'Rise Up,' find hope, and be offered a lifeline and an opportunity," Bruce Deel, City of Refuge executive director said. "We are honored to host the kick-off event of the 'Rise Up Atlanta' community volunteer initiative with the day of service sponsored by the Blank Family of Businesses and its associates, including the Atlanta Falcons. The impact on our organization, our community and, ultimately, our city will be deep reaching and long lasting."

The Falcons and other Blank Family of Businesses associates spent the morning at City of Refuge working on four key projects: constructing an indoor playground, planting an urban garden, remodeling resident dormitories and painting an indoor mural.

The Blank Family of Businesses provided the City of Refuge with a $60,000 grant to build the indoor playground that will serve resident and neighborhood families. The playground will provide a safe haven for the 82 children who live on site in the Eden Village housing area, as well as the 60 neighborhood children who participate in the City of Refuge after-school program.

The Falcons have partnered with Hands On Atlanta, one of the largest community-based volunteer service organizations in the United States in an effort to encourage volunteerism across the city.

Beginning Thursday, Falcons fans and community-minded volunteers can log onto to sign up for a variety of volunteer opportunities coordinated by Hands On Atlanta. Fans who sign up and attend a volunteer activity will receive a Falcons Rise Up team T-shirt.

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