MINNEAPOLIS -- Kyle Rudolph was 24 hours too late.
By the time the Minnesota Vikings tight end drove around Monday to look for places in need of organized clean-up efforts after looting and riots took place throughout the Twin Cities following George Floyd's death, the 30-year-old witnessed his favorite element of the community he's been a part of for the past nine years.
With broken glass and debris already cleaned up, the efforts to rebuild were underway. So when Rudolph pivoted to the idea of an essential-goods drive to benefit residents such as a woman named Stephanie, whose TV interview went viral after most of the stores near her home were destroyed, he chose to go to the area affected the most.
Amid burned buildings and shopping centers shut down because of excessive damage, Rudolph held a donation drive on Friday in the parking lot of a now-closed Cub Foods near East Lake Street and Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis where residents from the surrounding area could receive nonperishable food and other essential items.
"I think today is a perfect example of how times are different because you don't just have people here who have been directly affected by the problem," Rudolph told ESPN. "You have people that are here from all walks of life. You have people that have never dealt with racism a day in their life yet they know it's a problem, they want to be here to support and they want to be part of the change."
Friday's event, which saw a steady stream of hundreds come out as early as 9:30 a.m. CT, had a handful of Vikings players available to help distribute donations. Rudolph was joined by Danielle Hunter, Adam Thielen, Garrett Bradbury, Aviante Collins, Chad Beebe, Cameron Smith and Jake Browning, all of whom were in attendance at Floyd's memorial service Thursday.
Rudolph also sought the help of Minnesota Timberwolves guard Josh Okogie, who was joined by coach Ryan Saunders and teammate Malik Beasley. Also on hand to lug cases of water and other goods from the donation stations to people's cars were several members of the Minnesota football team and Golden Gophers coach P.J. Fleck.
"What you're seeing right now is a fair representation of Minnesota and what Minnesota can be," Okogie said. "You see every different kind of race, ethnicity, religious [background] -- it doesn't really matter. We're coming together. What I think is so symbolic of this whole thing is what we have right now is a whole bunch of hope, love, fun and opportunity. You look around and everything's been destroyed. So if we can start right here and grow outwards, that's what we have to do."
Rudolph -- who has previously served on the Vikings' social justice committee which, among several of its initiatives, aims to foster relations between police departments and the communities they serve -- said he believes the Vikings can continue to play a role in the fight against systemic racism and police brutality.
"To fix this, it's going to take time," Rudolph said. "It's not something that when the protests stop, the change stops. It's got to be something that's sustainable. It's got to be something that we can continue to do for years because just under 20 years ago I was in Cincinnati, Ohio, when Timothy Thomas was killed. There were riots and protesting and I never would have thought that just under 20 years later I would be still living in a similar situation. My hope is that 20 years from now when my kids are in their 20s, this isn't a battle that they're on the forefront and fighting."
Across the Twin Cities, other teams are entrenched in efforts to give back. Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon made donations to six charitable organizations, including the Gianna Floyd Fund, Black Women Speak and We The Protesters, to benefit the Black Lives Matter movement and local rebuilding efforts.
Spurgeon, who is in his native Canada with his family, noted the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery will prompt him and his wife to have an open dialogue about race with their young children.
"I don't think there's any age that's too early to start teaching it," Spurgeon said. "Growing up I think my parents tried to do that with myself, but as you grow older with yourself you start realizing there are more things that you can do for your own children."
Spurgeon, 30, said he hopes to see the communitywide efforts continue long after the city is rebuilt.
"From here on out, it can't just be a one-week thing or a two-week thing where everybody's doing it," Spurgeon said. "It has to be a continued trend where we're all trying to be better and get everyone equal rights."
Elsewhere, the University of Minnesota is hosting a "United Are We" community drive Monday in the parking lot of the athletic department, where donations of essential supplies, toiletries, diapers and other nonperishables can be dropped off from 8 to 11 a.m. CT.
Earlier this week, the Gophers' athletic department launched an initiative called "Listen," a forum used to amplify the voices of student-athletes, coaches and others for an open conversation on race. The site has several aggregated posts from student-athletes' social media platforms in hopes of fostering an honest conversation throughout the athletic department.
"It's not just a time of talk," Gophers associate athletic director for external affairs Mike Wierzbicki said. "We need to create action. There's action to this, there's learning and then ultimately what are our steps to go forward from here."