If you’re like me, when the New Orleans Saints win on Sunday, it makes my entire week better. I’ll re-watch highlights from the win the next day. I’ll look for clips of the national media talking about the Saints. It’s generally a happy time.
But you won’t find me crying tears of joy, saying something like, “This is better than Christmas.”
That is what New Orleans Saints native Allen Keller hears regularly, though, on New Orleans Saints game days with his #TailgateTogether movement.
Keller describes the history of #TailgateTogether: “It started from Saints tailgates. We’d have a ton of food leftover, so we’d bring that out to the homeless. But the thought of giving the homeless our leftovers didn’t feel right to me. So we started cooking the homeless their own separate, fresh meal.”
This might make it sound like the tailgating scene around Allen Keller and the #TailgateTogether group would be somber or depressing. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Allen has explained what happens at the tailgate:
“Me and a few friends cook. We set up televisions, music, and a buffet-style food operation. The crowd is usually well over 100 people.” Allen added, “Attendees usually chip in a donation to keep it going for every home game and also help us to continue feeding the homeless.”
And the movement is continuing to grow. Firehouse Subs donates sandwiches every other week, but in the weeks without donations from Firehouse (who has donated 3,600 sandwiches to date), Allen and @KatherineNOLA cook hot meals themselves, spending their time and money to make a difference.
If you want to join in on the #TailgateTogether experience, then you can find Allen at his usual spot near the corners of Loyola Avenue and Perdido Street. If you’re coming in from out of town, Allen’s spot is one block behind the Dave & Buster’s on Poydras, and there’s a parking garage connected to the Dave & Buster’s which usually has available parking (for a fee). You can come tailgate together, and forego the “typical” NFL tailgate scene for a chance to share good food, cold drinks, and make new friends, all while helping out a good cause.
If you can’t make it to the tailgate but you are still interested in helping, please consider Allen’s Amazon wishlist, or making a monetary donation for home-cooked meals. You can make donations directly to Allen for #TailgateTogether via:
If you enjoy the way it feels after a Saints win on Sunday, I’m sure you’ll really like the way it feels after spending your time making a difference with Allen (and the small army that helps him every weekend) at #TailgateTogether.