IMAGE: players at bread for the city

United get into Thanksgiving spirit with Bread for the City

D.C. United got into the Thanksgiving spirit with a special visit to Bread for the City’s Northwest Center on Wednesday afternoon. Steve Birnbaum, Kofi Opare, Nick DeLeon, and Chris Durkin joined volunteers in packing and distributing Thanksgiving food bags to needy families in the area through the organization's annual Holiday Helpings program.

"The city has done so much for us as a team, so it's important to give back," Opare said. "We've been put in a fortunate position to help out. It's important to be thankful for what we have and, on the same token, be able to give back."

The players helped run stations that included sorting canned food, unpacking turkeys, and stuffing the holiday food bags. 

At the conclusion of the food distribution, players were given a behind-the-scenes tour of the Northwest Center and learned about the different programs and services provided for vulnerable residents of Washington.  

"Having D.C. United volunteer with us at Bread for the City was such a thrill for our staff and clients,” Ally Blaine, spokeswoman for Bread for the City, said. “Community leaders that take the time to give back to their city are extremely uplifting to our clients who are experiencing poverty and hardships every day.”

The Holiday Helpings program is an annual tradition at Bread for the City. The program runs from November 1 to December 24 and helps provide free holiday meals—a turkey and all the trimmings—for the center's clients to enjoy at home with family and friends. This holiday season, Bread for the City’s goal is to provide 8,000 meals to those in need. Visit to learn more.