The Miami Dolphins, together with local officials, community partners, and members of the South Florida community, held the first annual Football UNITES™ Jason Jenkins Day of Service on Monday, October 30. This special event commemorated the life and legacy of Jason Jenkins, the organization’s late Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs.
Over 330 volunteers, including staff from Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Dolphins, and Miami Open, dedicated their time to serve their community on what would have been Jenkins’ 49th birthday. Together, they contributed a total of 900 hours across nine community projects in South Florida, impacting more than 22,000 individuals in Miami Dade and Broward counties.
“Jason was a unifier of people, and he dedicated his life to bringing people in South Florida together through service and the power of football,” said Tom Garfinkel, Vice Chairman, President, and CEO of the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium, as well as Managing Partner of the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix. “We are proud to continue honoring Jason’s legacy and carrying on his impact by serving the South Florida community he loved so much.”
During his 14-year tenure with the Miami Dolphins, Jenkins played a pivotal role in various community initiatives. As the Senior Vice President of Communications and Community Affairs, he oversaw front-facing brands such as the Miami Dolphins, Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Open, and Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix. Notably, Jenkins spearheaded the Junior Dolphins youth football program, the Miami Dolphins Foundation Food Relief Program, and the Miami Dolphins Football UNITES™ program. His social justice initiatives within the Football UNITES™ program aimed to unite groups of different races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, abilities, and faiths through the power of football.
Jenkins’ unexpected passing in August 2022 left an immeasurable void in South Florida. To honor his life and continue his impact, the Miami Dolphins announced the Football UNITES™ Jason Jenkins Day of Service, held annually on his birthday.
The community service projects undertaken by the Miami Dolphins on this special day included:
1. Adopt-a-Dune Project: More than 50 volunteers participated in a beach preservation project at the Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park in Dania Beach. Volunteers planted over 1,000 dunes to restore and protect the native habitat for nesting sea turtles, migratory birds, and shorebirds along the coastline.
2. Broward Rescue Mission: Ten organization members served lunch to formerly homeless residents at the Broward Rescue Mission in Hollywood. Volunteers engaged with residents and provided meals to more than 45 people, fostering a sense of community.
3. Junior Dolphins Mini Football Clinic: Vice Chairman Tom Garfinkel and Elizabeth Jenkins, Dolphins Challenge Cancer Board Chair and Jason Jenkins’ wife, joined over 25 volunteers in hosting a mini football clinic at Excel Kids Academy in Miami Gardens. More than 80 students were guided through football fundamentals and playing techniques during recess, allowing them to engage in fun games and drills.
4. Feeding South Florida: Over 100 volunteers inspected and packaged meal boxes at Feeding South Florida, joined by local media members. Together, they packaged 24,000 pounds of food, benefitting over 20,400 individuals in the South Florida community.
5. Keep Miami Gardens Beautiful: Vice President of Community Affairs Kim Miller, Miami Gardens Mayor Rodney Harris, and Judge Marcus Bach-Armas collaborated with over 30 volunteers in a clean-up project around Miami Gardens’ Snake Creek. Collectively, they collected over 350 pounds of litter, contributing to the community’s improvement.
6. Miami Rescue Mission: Fifteen organization members served lunch to formerly homeless residents at the Miami Rescue Mission. Volunteers engaged with residents and provided meals to over 250 individuals, demonstrating compassion and support.
7. SOS Children’s Village: Fifteen volunteers participated in a beautification project at the SOS Children’s Village in Coconut Creek. They decorated two homes that benefit 14 family members, took inventory for the Villages’ annual Light Up the Village event, and provided meals from Miami Dolphins Minority Restaurant Partner, Reggae Beets, to over 50 children at the village.
8. SunServe: Over 15 volunteers engaged in a beautification project at SunServe in Fort Lauderdale. Through painting and decorating tiles, they renovated the SunServe group room, which serves over 500 members of the community annually.
9. Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA USA): Elizabeth Jenkins and Tyler Epp, President of the Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix, joined 50 volunteers in packing care packages with hygiene products at the YWCA in Miami Gardens. Together, they packaged over 300 hygiene kits, supporting over 1
Image credit: Miami Dolphins