Sacramento, CA â€“ The Texas Southern Tigers paused from focusing on football to warm hearts in Sacramento . The team visited The Shriners Hospitals on Friday. â€œThis was an opportunity to give back to the community and let the players know how blessed they are,â€ said Head Coach Johnnie Cole.
The players spent about two hours playing cards, shooting pool and coloring with the kids. Most of the Shriners patients were burn victims although the hospital also treats children with orthopaedics, spinal cord Injuries and specialized plastic surgery.
One patient, Troy celebrated his 14th birthday and the TSU Tigers honored him by singing happy birthday and serving cake.
15 year old Shavanda was thrilled by the visit and the attention. â€œItâ€™s great to see them come visit us. I like to meet new people. I now have a new favorite football team,â€ said Shavanda.
This visit helped the players as well as the patients. It gave them a break from worrying about family members, left to face Hurricane Ike back home. It also gave them a better perspective on life.
“We complain about the hot sun and things like that while these kids go through a lot more than we do.Â It’s a big eye opener,” said Josh Julmiste, a defensive lineman from Miami.
For senior tight end Roland Robins, the visit hit closer to home. â€œâ€¦reminds me of when I was growing up. Our house burned down when I was a kids and no one came to visit or help us out.Â Iâ€™m glad I can spend a little time with these kids to bring some joy into their lives and let them know someone cares.â€