Vince Wilfork gives back to kids

Vince Wilfork might not be stuffing runs, or taking on double teams on Sundays. But that doesn’t mean he’s still not contributing.

The Patriots defensive lineman, who still offers his input during film sessions, also maintains his presence in the community as he rehabilitates from the season-ending torn Achilles tendon he suffered in Week 4 against Atlanta.

To that end, Wilfork is teaming up with Eastern Bank for the second consecutive year to promote a holiday Toys for Tots collection campaign in partnership with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves Toys for Tots program.

Last week, Wilfork passed along some of his thoughts on the campaign as well as his legacy.

“Even though I am now not able to make a physical impact on the field doesn’t mean I can’t continue to make an impact in the community,” Wilfork said via email. “The Vince Wilfork Foundation is in its 10th year of service and it will continue long after my career. I think of the foundation as my legacy — football has been the driving force to allow my wife and I to change the lives of those in need.

“I will always stay involved with fans through charity,” he added. “I’ve been lucky to never have a season-ending injury in my professional career and I have just shifted positions to focus on recovery and doing as much as I can as a leader in my community.

“Giving back is so important but there is nothing better than seeing my fans team up with me and help me with a cause. Strength in numbers. I thought of the idea of having fans tweet at me (@wilfork75) when they drop off at a Eastern Bank branch so I can see each and every fan on my team this holiday season. It always makes my day to see people get out in the community and make a difference. I have the best fans in the world. My injury is temporary but giving back is permanent.”

The campaign is already underway, as all 98 Eastern Bank retail offices are serving as official toy drop off locations. The public is encouraged to donate new, unwrapped toys at any Eastern Bank branch through Saturday, Dec. 14, or go to to make a donation online.

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