By Teresa Varley
Wide receiver Hines Ward once again opened up his heart to kids from South Korea who could use a little love.
Ward hosted eight kids from South Korea in Pittsburgh and made sure that their week-long visit was a memorable one. The activities included attending the Steelers-Colts game, lunch and games at Dave & Busters and dinner at Sushi Kim, a visit to a local school and a goodbye dinner at the Carnegie Science Center.
Ward, who was born in Korea to a Korean mom and African American father, hosted the bi-racial kids through the Hines Ward Helping Hands Korea Foundation and Pearl S. Buck International. Kids in Korea are often discriminated against if they are bi-racial and Ward is doing everything in his power to change that and bring happiness to those kids.
"To have these kids come here is what it is all about," said Ward. "I wanted to bring these kids to America for the first time to a city where we have the greatest fans in the world. I wanted them to experience life here on a day-to-day basis and what it's like at Heinz Field. I wanted them to see what Pittsburgh has to offer."
The kids, who ranged from eight to 16 and stayed with host families who have adopted Korean children in the past or are in the process of doing so through the Welcome House Adoption Program, had to write an essay about pursing their dreams and the winners were selected by Ward. He is hoping that they return back to Korea with the confidence to pursue those dreams.
"I want to give these kids a sense of hope, a sense of inspiration," said Ward. "It doesn't matter what race you are, biracial or not, you can go out and be a positive person in every day society. I want to give these kids a sense of pride that when they go back to Korea you can take all of the negative prejudice and turn it into a positive.
Ward plans a trip back to Korea in the offseason and will check in on the kids to see how they are progressing.
"When I go back I want to see the confidence they have in themselves," said Ward. "That is what every kid should have"