By Taylor Powell, Correspondent
Sunday night football is a staple in our American culture. The joyful entertainment that these players bring into households is the same joy they bring to the children at the Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center. On the morning of June 24, NFL players took time out of their schedule to put smiles on the children located at the Children’s Medical Center. These players believe in spreading joy to these children in the hopes that it helps them forgot about their troubles for a while. This visit leaves a lasting impact on both the children and the players.
Roy Miller, a player for the Jacksonville Jaguars, has been visiting the children’s medical center for a few years and looks forward to making the children smile each visit.
“We need to all remember that people are hurting and going through different things,” said Miller.
Miller believes that it is a huge pleasure to go speak and play video games with these children.
“Anytime you can leave an impact on somebody else’s life. Why not? That’s something that we can do,” said Miller.
Tommie Harris, a former defensive tackle and a Killeen native, has been visiting the medical center for three years. Harris believes that each visit to the hospital is a new experience each visit. He also believes that this is a responsibility for anyone on the platform of sports. That responsibility is to give back and to leave a positive impact on others.
“Everyone is going through their own spot in life. To call a timeout or pause in yours and go put your arms around someone. Give them a high five and say, ‘one more day’ or you can do it’. Those words heal for a moment,” said Harris.
Brandon Joiner, a player for the Cincinnati Bengals, loves that the children light up when he comes to visit. That is his most pertinent memory when he goes to visit the medical center. Visiting makes him thankful for his family and reminds Joiner to never get to caught up in your own life. To remember to share a smile and time with somebody else.
“It means a lot to them, but also affects us in a big way,” said Joiner.
One of the children that received a visit on this morning is Johnathan Embler. Embler and his family were delighted to see the faces of these players.
“Them coming to see me was the most exciting thing that has happened in a very long time,” said Embler.
His family was very thankful that the players took the time out of their day to make their son smile. Embler’s mother, Sherry Embler, was very thankful for the visit.
“It’s a joy to have them come and share their time with us. Trying to make kids who are not feeling well smile,” said Embler.
The smiles were spread that Saturday morning of June 24 and left a lasting impact on the children and players. Paying it forward in every way is always worth the reward. For more information to get involved at the Baylor Scott & White McLane Children’s Medical Center please contact (254) 724-5437.