They have different jobs on different sides of the building. At the Colts facility, it’s not common to see players working alongside employees.
But on Friday afternoon, they got out of the complex and worked side-by-side packing meals for senior citizens at Gleaners Food Bank.
“I think any time you have the ability to have the Colts organization as a whole do things together, it makes it a lot of fun,” said Joe Ondrejko, Senior Vice President of Ticket Sales and Service for the Colts.
Just like the team, the Colts ticketing department is going through some offseason changes.
“I think it’s part of a larger overall commitment that the Colts have, both from a team and a business standpoint,” Ondrejko said. “The fun part of it is, we’re going to build. We’re going to be a lot bigger than we have been in the past. And if we’re going to do that, we might as well be able to give back a little bit too.”
It’s the foundation the Colts organization was built on. And it’s important to pass it on as the Colts family grows.
“When you have a younger staff, for them to understand the importance of volunteering and giving back to the community and making that part of their lifestyle moving forward is a big part of it.”
Wide receiver James Wright felt that commitment as soon as he walked in the building.
“I’ve only been here for a week or so, but from my initial viewpoint, I can tell that this is a very involved team with the community.”
Which made it a great fit for him.
“It’s always a blessing to be able to better the community,” he said. “Any time you can do something to give back and help out, that’s what you’re supposed to do. I feel like we’re obligated as people to help each other out.”
Defensive lineman Hassan Ridgeway got that message loud and clear when he joined the organization. Now, he hopes to be one of the guys helping to instill it in others.
“I had a lot of people show me what it takes and what they do in the community. Hopefully, I’ll set a good example for them to come in and do the same thing,” he said.
One guy who’s inspired Ridgeway is his teammate, Matthias Farley.
“He’s always doing a lot in the community and he was in my class. So, seeing somebody who was with me being able to do that pushed me to want to be able to do more too.”
And working alongside his teammates made it fun.
“It’s enjoyable,” said nose tackle Joey Mbu. “I’ve got some funny people around me like Grove and Ridge. The jokes are flying – just know that.”
But the real goal was making other people smile.
“It feels good to know somebody is getting multiple meals and I physically had a part of it,” he said. “It’s a good feeling to know that we can impact people without seeing them.”
And they enjoyed working with their teammates on the other side of the building to do it.
“It feels really good to meet new people,” said defensive tackle Grover Stewart. “We’re all working together. And now, we’re coming together and working together to give back.”
A nice way to get out of the office and spend a Friday afternoon is how customer relationship representative Jacob Romine described it.
“We have some players out here. They’re very active in the community,” he said. “Now, it’s our turn to be just as active with them.”
That’s just what Ondrejko has in mind.
“I’ve been in sports now for 15 years and being able to have an impact on the community, that’s what people love. It’s how the team ties the community together and just being a part of that in a bigger way is important to us,” he said.
And he hopes to have some extended members of the Colts family join them along the way.
Colts Players and Staff Visit Gleaners Food Bank!
“Not only are we going to be more consistent in doing it, we’re going to start inviting season ticket holders to come do this with us,” he said. “Because the season ticket holders are the most special people that we have. They’re the ones that support the Colts through their dedication and their commitment. So, those are the ones that we want to make sure we have the best relationships with.”
The Colts supporting the community alongside the people who support them is teamwork at its best.
It’s what makes a successful team, an inspired workplace, and a strong community.
For information on becoming a Colts season ticket member, go to: http://www.colts.com/tickets/ticket-home.html. <br>