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!

Trust RS81,

Rod

What They Are Saying:

We are happy that Rod chose to launch his foundation and host the inaugural event at Chabot Space & Science Center. It allowed the students of Roots International to experience a program that may have otherwise been unattainable, given school field trip budgets; and they had a blast! Personally, I am moved by Rod’s commitment to youth and his desire to give. More specifically, his commitment to giving of his time and spirit by actually participating in the activities with the children as opposed to simply writing a check and making an appearance.

Autumn KingMarketing and Public Relations, Chabot Space and Science Center

We are blown away by Rod’s passion and dedication to improving the lives of children. The Rod Streater Foundation and Where’s Streater? events bring joy and discovery to numerous children from under-resourced communities, and Rod’s relationship with Michael shows his deep commitment to changing lives. Rod has truly set a standard of what it means to give back.

Dr. Kara Allen SoldatiExecutive Director, CoachArt

The Oakland Raiders found themselves a gem in Rod Streater, who was signed as an undrafted free agent and has grown into one of their best receivers. Not only was Streater a steal for the Raiders when it comes to his talents on the field, he also exemplifies the kind of high character person that general manager Reggie McKenzie has been trying to add to the team’s roster. The best part about Streater’s foundation is that he plans on being intimately involved. While the Raiders are lucky to have a guy who can catch the ball and move the chains on Sundays, the community of Oakland is lucky to have a guy who wants to help out the underprivileged youth when he isn’t busy scoring touchdowns for the Silver and Black.

James ArcellanaBeat writer, Bay Area Sports Guy

So an interesting thing happened several days ago…Myself, friends and coworkers do volunteer work for few children’s charities, mostly art/creative related. A little over a week ago we partnered with Rod Streater’s (wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders) Foundation and had a bunch of kids came over to our office, take tours, see presentations and then we did drawing workshops where we showed kids how to draw characters (my workshop did Olaf). It was really a lot of fun and the kids were awesome. So, as the kids filed out to get pizza, Rod comes over to me and thanks for doing this and working with the kids, and we pose for some pictures. Then, he pulls me aside and asks if he can ask me a few questions. I said sure, and we step aside and he starts asking about detailed questions about Photoshop, and how it fits in the production environment, what other image creation tools we use like SBpro, the input devices and environment, and well… a bunch of questions along those lines. Not cursory ones either, very knowledgeable and specific and related to the production pipeline for 2d/illustrated game art, he knew what he was talking about. It turns out that art is a passion of his and he is pursuing a degree in illustration/art specifically to do video games. That is what he plans to do after his football career, and he wanted a professional perspective.Now, I don’t exactly chat with a lot of NFL players, (none actually, but oddly, handful of NBA players) so I don’t have a point of reference. But he was a great guy, very genuine and passionate about his charity work and the kids. I don’t know if that is typical of folks in his profession, but I sure hope so. I am old enough that in high school if you even knew what a computer was you were a nerd, and only small handful of us actually had one. Though I was never harassed in the way 80’s movies would have you believe, it was certainly the football guys that got the hot girlfriends and all the attention. I find it pleasantly amusing that a few decades later, successful, professional athletes hope to get a job like mine one day. Making games is now cool… even to the cool kids.

Bloggerzombiegorilla, Feb 7, 2015