Each year over the last decade, the Rams have taken a day during the offseason to make a difference for youth in their community. The last four years, that's been here in Los Angeles with a playground build.
After constructing playgrounds at schools in Inglewood, Watts, and South Central in 2016, 2017, and 2018, respectively, the Rams went to East L.A. last Friday to build a playground at Belvedere Elementary.
Check out photos of the Los Angeles Rams staff, Coach McVay and the 2019 rookie class take part in the 11th Annual Community Improvement Project.
Rookies, coaches, and members of the front office were in attendance in royal blue and sunshine yellow shirts to put all the pieces of the playground together, and paint murals on walls along the school's buildings.
"This is amazing," Belvedere Elementary principal Beatriz Bogan said. "It's amazing because I think one of the premises or the beliefs that we hold true is that there's a leader in each and every one of us, and that we can make change — not only for ourselves, but for our community. And I think that's what the Rams are doing. And this is a perfect example of us coming together for the kids."
"I think this is the highlight of the year from a community perspective, because you bring the entire organization — from players, to coaches, to the front office," said Rams EVP of football operations and COO Kevin Demoff. "And you start with nothing, and you end with a beautiful playground and murals, and you leave a lasting impression for years on a community here in East Los Angeles and at Belvedere Elementary."
Head coach Sean McVay got the day stated with some remarks to the assembled crowd and media, nothing how special it is to be able to help a place focused on inspiring the next generation.
"When you get a chance to interact with the people that are so closely affected by the positive changes that are going to result from today's work by a bunch of people in our organization, that's what's special," McVay told therams.com. "And to be here at Belvedere Elementary School and meeting some of the people — you just can feel how passionate they are about creating a standard for these kids, and providing a learning opportunity, and playgrounds and different things that will just enhance their experience here, and, hopefully, lead to a lot of positive things for them."
As for those rookies, both cornerback David Long Jr. and defensive lineman Greg Gaines are Southern California natives — making the event that much more special.
"Los Angeles is really diverse and they do a really good job reaching out to all the different platforms and diverse parts of the community, so I think the organization does a really good job," Long said. "We've done a lot of stuff even since I've been here in the last five, six weeks. So I think that's really big, and something that's really a part of the culture here with the Rams."
"I'm probably 30 minutes away from my house here. So it's awesome just being back in this community and being able to help it, too," Gaines said. "It not only encourages the fan base, but it shows that we care about our fans. We care about our community. We want to improve it and build it. And it shows a lot about the character of the program."