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Delivering smiles at the holidays

Posted Dec 15, 2016

It's all about giving back to those who need it the most this time of year.

Imagine the heartache of having a sick child, whether it’s as simple as a passing cold or a serious illness where long term medical treatment is required.

Now image a parent’s stress when you add on the worry of not having the ability to pay for the medical care. It’s a situation nobody should be in, and thanks to the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund, parents don’t have to worry. The Free Care Fund was established for Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC to continue to provide health care to every child in the community, regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

On Thursday night, the 63rd Annual Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund Benefit Show was on KDKA-TV, and Steelers’ President Art Rooney II lent a hand. Rooney presented Children’s Hospital with a check for $28,632 courtesy of the team’s 50/50 raffle, and also helped man the phones, taking donations from fellow Pittsburghers who opened their hearts to help others.

“Our players and the organization has been involved in Children’s Hospital for many years in many different ways,” said Rooney. “Being able to help out with the Free Card Fund year in and year out has been special. It’s an honor to be here and be a part of it. Parents in this area can feel comfortable they have a great hospital for their children and the Free Care Fund makes sure they have access to that care no matter what the conditions are.”

Steelers Jordan Dangerfield and Tyler Matakevich also lent a hand, playing Santa for some of the patients. For anyone who gives a monthly gift of $20 or more to the Free Care Fund either online or called in during the telethon, players will deliver a teddy bear to patients.

“Our players, we were just upstairs visiting with some kids and the players were delivering the bears,” said Rooney. “The more people that call and deliver those bears the better.”

Dangerfield and Matakevich kicked that off, making the first deliveries.

“Just to know I have a healthy son, it’s a blessing and I am thankful every day for him,” said Dangerfield of his baby boy, Josiah. “It hits home coming here to see the kids, because they aren’t able to be out having the fun other kids are having, especially this time of year. It hurts to see they are sick, but I am happy we can help put a smile on their face. To help them any way we possibly can is a blessing.”

There are others ways you can help as well. The Steelers-Ravens Ladies for a Cause challenge has officially kicked off to see who can raise the most for their charity by Christmas day when the two teams meet at Heinz Field. The Steelers’ ladies are giving their donations to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. You can donate now to help Children’s Hospital, and help the Steelers defeat the Ravens. Donate Here.