Dear Niners Nation:
I am so excited to return to the Bay Area and be a member of the Niners Nation! I can’t wait to share my journey with you.
During my rookie season, I saw a fan holding a sign that read: “In Rod We Trust”. Wow! What an eye-opening and humbling moment. For the first time I truly realized what tremendous power we have, as NFL players, to make a difference and to have a positive impact in the lives of others. I’ve tried to embrace the responsibility of being a role model, especially for young people.
But NFL players need role models, too! No individual has been more inspirational in my life than my Mom. While some say she “lost” her battle with breast cancer, I disagree. Each and every day, it’s my goal to keep the spirit of Darlene Streater alive. Whether it’s staying after practice to catch extra passes, sharing an inspirational message on Twitter or providing area students with educational opportunities, I think about what my Mom would want me to do. She remains with me every day and silently serves as the driving force behind The Rod Streater Foundation.
“I thank God for the amazing mother He blessed me with. I wouldn’t be anything if it wasn’t for my Mom. I’ll be strong and promise to live my life in a way that will make you smile. I will never meet someone as amazing as you. You’re in peace in Heaven. You’re my angel. I love you, Mom!”
The Rod Streater Foundation was founded in 2014 as a donor-advised fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Our mission is to inspire the potential of our local youth by imparting leadership values of respect and responsibility. We strive to be a positive force in the lives of children who are impacted negatively by difficulties beyond their control.
Our signature program called, “Where’s Streater? Catch Him Here, There and Everywhere” focuses our efforts on sponsoring free activities that promote healthy lifestyles, technology, culture and the arts.
In the Bay Area, we shared hands-on learning experiences with the kids at really special places like Oakland’s Chabot Space and Science Center, the San Francisco Zoo, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, Disney Interactive, and making healthy apple pies with children with diabetes. “Where’s Streater?” went bowling with kids from the Boys & Girls Clubs, and visited both the Charles M. Schulz Museum and the Walt Disney Family Museum where we created stop motion videos. We made robots at the Tech Museum of Innovation and hosted our CoachArt families at the NFL Experience for Super Bowl 50. Our journeys took us to the heart of America in Kansas City, where we traveled to the Rabbit hOle with children from Gordon Parks Elementary, toured First Fridays at the Crossroads Arts District with Big Brothers Big Sisters, and went indoor skydiving with kids from High Aspirations. We invite you to join us as we explore and make even more discoveries in Bay Area.
“Team Streater” is my opportunity to reach out to children and adults who are overcoming cancer and to offer an inspirational message of “Hope and Courage”. In honor of my mother, I will proudly extend this message to some pretty amazing people with the American Cancer Society, Camp Kesem, Camp Quality, Children’s Mercy Hospital’s Cancer Center, Pinky Swear Foundation, and the University of Kansas Hospital Cancer Center, St. Baldrick’s and CoachArt.
Niners Nation, I can’t wait to meet you. Come along, our journey is just beginning!