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Rookies deliver happiness

Posted May 22, 2017

The Steelers' rookie class brought plenty of smiles to Children's Hospital.

They haven’t been in Pittsburgh long, but one thing the Steelers rookies have quickly learned is the value the team places on giving back to the community.

That was on display front and center when all of the team’s rookies visited Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC on Monday afternoon, spreading joy to kids who definitely could use a pick-me-up.

“It’s awesome to do this,” said James Conner. “All of the young kids, it’s kind of sad you see the condition they are in. We just try to cheer them up any way we can, play games with them, just be around and take their mind off of things for a little bit and lift their spirits any way we can.”

They did just that. For a while doctors and nurses were replaced with burly guys, crammed into tiny chairs, with crayons in their hands and the kids with smiles on their faces.  

“It’s priceless,” said Conner of seeing their smiles. “They are going through some things. The littlest smile makes the world for them. The feeling is priceless.”

The players went up against the kids in games like Sorry, Connect Four, Trouble and corn hole, and even showed off their drawing talents and some dancing skills. It was the perfect opportunity to bring joy into their young lives while they are hospitalized. 

“This is an opportunity to give back,” said Cameron Sutton. “To see their faces, interact with the kids, it’s something that makes their day go by a lot better. They forget about the situation they have going on at the time and have something to look forward to. I think it’s an opportunity for us to be around the kids and impact their lives.

“Just their whole demeanor changes when you get around the kids. They are battling tough situations. When they get around guys like us, motivating them and keeping them in the right direction like their families do, it brings joy to their day. That is what we are all here for.”