Steelers President Art Rooney II smiled when he thought back to the day last September when the Steelers visited the Vintage Senior Center in East Liberty as a part of the United Way Days of Caring.
It was the second straight year they had done that sort of activity, visiting the Magee Recreation Center in Greenfield the year before.
And both times, it was a memorable experience, with the players and Rooney taking part in exercise classes with the seniors.
On Thursday evening the Steelers were honored by the United Way for their participation in the Days of Caring, in particular their involvement with senior citizens. The Steelers were one of the companies named a "Good Neighbor" for volunteerism during the Fred Rogers Good Neighbor Day awards.
"It's very special to be honored for this," said Rooney. "I think our players really enjoyed doing the event. The senior citizens enjoyed it. It's the kind of thing that gets you out of your element a little bit. It's good for everybody and something we look forward to doing again."
The United Way Days of Caring was created in 1991 by the United Way of Allegheny County, and has since expanded nationwide, to encourage volunteerism in communities. The Steelers have been active with the Days of Caring as a part of their partnership with the United Way.
"It's a way to call attention to the fact that volunteers make a big difference in our community," said Rooney. "Taking even a day to go out and be with senior citizens, or a youth organization or any agency. It's people taking the time to try and make a better community makes a big difference.
"When we can offer that kind of example hopefully people will follow the lead and it can make a difference."
The Steelers were one of 11 organizations honored at the event, which was held at the East End Cooperative Ministry.
"Our volunteers are the heart and soul of our work, giving so much of themselves to help the community," said Christy Stuber, volunteer initiatives director for the United Way of Allegheny County. "We are so grateful for each act of kindness, each commitment they make to infuse so much goodness to neighbors of all ages."