MINNEAPOLIS - On Tuesday, Sept. 18, Adam Thielen, the Detroit Lakes native and star wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, announced the launch of the Thielen Foundation, which will aim to create programs that serve, educate and inspire individuals to reach their full potential in life.
Thielen, along with his wife, Caitlin, and their son, Asher, also announced the foundation's first partnership with the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. The Thielen's presented the hospital with a $100,000 check, the first donation on the foundation's behalf.
The philanthropic endeavor was always a goal for the Thielen's, and they say they are blessed to have an opportunity to give back to a community that has treated them so well.
"Both of us are from Minnesota, grew up in Minnesota communities and are just so excited to give back to a place that has been so big in our lives," Thielen told his team's official website, Vikings.com.
The money donated will go towards the hospital's Pediatric Behavioral Health unit, whose mission is to help kids overcome adversity and serve as a support system for those managing mental health challenges.
"This wasn't just what I wanted to do or what Caitlin wanted to do; it's what we both wanted to do," Thielen told Vikings.com. "And it took a long time. It wasn't just something that we thought of overnight."
As part of the partnership between the foundation and the children's hospital, the Thielen's will plan to visit the Pediatric Behavioral Health areas to meet with and encourage patients, participate in hospital events and give away Thielen Foundation-branded recreation and comfort items, Vikings.com reported.
Each summer, the Thielen Foundation will host the Adam Thielen Youth Football Camp, with all proceeds from the camp benefitting the Thielen Foundation and its ongoing programming.
The one-day camp welcomes roughly 200 kids ages 6 to 16, where they experience hands-on football coaching and character development training.
As for Caitlin, she says she was inspired by the impact of wellness programming at the hospital and, in particular, the way that yoga can improve calmness and wellbeing.
"As our partnership grows with Masonic Children's Hospital, I hope to get involved with yoga programming and help create educational materials to aid in instruction as well as provide Thielen Foundation yoga mats and resources to make sure every patient as access to this incredible wellness tool," Caitlin said.