A partnership between the Maryland civic leaders brings funding to the recovery-oriented Oxford House program and attention to addiction and treatment
By Jason LangendorfApril 7, 2021
The NFL’s Baltimore Ravens have partnered with Leidos, a leading science and technology company, to raise awareness about the opioid crisis and donate funding as part of a “Tackling Opioid Addiction” campaign.
The Ravens and Leidos, with support from the Chris Atwood Foundation and Safeway, announced this week that money raised during the 2020 campaign would go to Oxford House, a nonprofit program that provides organized self-run, self-supported addiction recovery at a series of facilities.
“Oxford House provides substantial resources for people who are recovering from addiction,” says Ravens president Dick Cass [pictured above, left, with Leidos CEO Roger Krone]. “We’re proud to partner with Leidos to support such an important program that positively impacts residents and communities in need.”
I think that by hearing professional athletes talk about [opioid use prevention] or hearing executives within a sports organization mention it, it shows how broad-reaching this issue is, and that it’s something we can all relate to.”—Kelly Quinlan Tallant, senior manager of community relations, Baltimore Ravens
The donation of $78,500—determined in part by metrics tied to the performance of the Ravens’ defense during the 2020 NFL season—is enough for six weeks of rent at an Oxford House plus “Welcome Home” packages for 40 to 50 arrivals. The packages include a Safeway gift card, Ravens gear, a prescription medication disposal kit and a naloxone kit (with instructions for administering the overdose-reversal drug).
“They’re going to help individuals, financially, get a foot in the door,” says Paul Stevens, regional manager of Oxford House. “It can sometimes be a challenge for people just getting on their feet, just getting out of treatment, to have the money to move in. So that’s really the critical value of this whole partnership—that they’re going to be able to help people get started and give them a chance to get settled in and get a job.”
“Tackling Opioid Addiction”
The “Tackling Opioid Addiction” campaign was launched before a Ravens preseason game in August 2019, when Cass signed the Leidos CEO Pledge Collaborative—a project recruiting corporate leaders and C-suite executives to prioritize drug prevention and mental health. Later in the season, the Ravens and Leidos spearheaded a game-day drive at the team’s M&T Bank Stadium in support of “National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.” Their initial efforts in 2019 raised $53,200.
Oxford House currently lists 57 residences in its Maryland network, each accommodating no fewer than six residents. (Stevens estimates an average of eight residents per Oxford House.) Maryland is home to nearly 7,000 Leidos employees, while the Ravens are a civic touchstone with fans throughout the region.
“I think that we reach a different audience,” says Kelly Quinlan Tallant, senior manager of community relations with the Ravens. “And I think that by hearing professional athletes talk about [opioid use prevention] or hearing executives within a sports organization mention it, it shows how broad-reaching this issue is, and that it’s something we can all relate to.”