By Kendall Rooker

Patrick Peterson’s mom told him when he “makes it big,” he’ll be a great father and giver with a big heart.

He has been charitable since joining the Arizona Cardinals. He kicked off P2 Tuesdays on September 8. Each Tuesday for a year, Peterson will provide meals to UMOM clients. The first menu items were fried chicken, mac and cheese, yams and peas.

“It is one of my favorites,” he says of the meal. “My grandma used to cook it on Sundays. Next week will be something different and fun as well. The meal was like a ‘First Supper.’ It was a family favorite, and I thought it would be a great welcome dinner.”

Peterson chose Tuesdays on the recommendation of the Cardinals front office and in honor of Kobe Bryant.

“I was motivated one day surfing, and I ran across the link about the legacy Kobe Bryant left behind,” Peterson says.

“On Tuesdays he reached out to homeless shelters to help them on a meal that they can remember it for a lifetime.”

Regularly charitable, Peterson had to cancel his other fundraising efforts through his charity, Patrick Peterson Foundation for Success, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He felt continuing his mission was important to his legacy.

“With my foundation, my main focal point is the golf tournament,” he says. “The big fundraising outings were put on hold due to the pandemic. Not being able to do those events, I thought this was a perfect opportunity to help the community, giving out backpacks, school supplies and find a way to get these kids need at home for their virtual learning. I want to stay involved in the community for my legacy like Kobe did.”

Peterson wants to pave the way for other athletes to give back. He will continue to do better.

“I want to find a way to help people in need. If there was anything I was able to do to provide meals it makes me feel better. You never know what something as small as a meal can do for someone. I don’t take this lightly,” Peterson says.

The same goes for his teammates. He says the front office does a good job by bringing in players who fit their “knit.”

“Guys like me Larry Fitzgerald, D.J. Humphries, Chandler Jones and guys who been around the block a couple times who understand what our platform means. Other players that fit in to our knit we created here it makes it easy for us.

“Ownership does a great job of making sure we get the right guys in our locker room who aren’t a distraction and are here for the common goal, which is winning and grabbing that Super Bowl trophy.”

Peterson says new signee DeAndre Hopkins will help with this mission.

“Now that the business side is done, he can play stress free,” Peterson says. “All he has to worry about is ball and not worry about proving a point. He understood his worth and got what he deserved. I know that’s something he was looking for in Houston. Arizona fulfilled his wishes,”

Having a high-caliber receiver like Hopkins benefits the offense led by quarterback Kyler Murray.

“It’s awesome. Having a caliber receiver like him here another four more years makes it easier for Kyler and our offense,” Peterson says.

“The future is bright for our organization. We have a great cast of weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Kyler has the opportunity to pick his poison. It’s on us to stay healthy, stay COVID free and injury free.”

For his part, Peterson is hopeful his Tuesday program will motivate others to do better.

“You never know when something so small as a meal on Tuesday can go,” he says. “It may give them motivation to want to do better. It’s my commitment to my mom.”

Patrick Peterson, patrickpeterson.org.

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