April 10, 2012
A small gesture has the impact to make a great difference. That’s the approach the University of Arizona men’s golf team had on March 30 when they took a break from the links and spent some time visiting kids at Diamond Children’s Medical Center instead.
By teaming up with Shine On, a non-profit organization that provides services to help comfort families who have kids in the hospital, members of the team passed out jars of fun items such as games and stuffed animals to make hospital visits less daunting. They spent time at various patients’ bedsides and got to know some of the youth around the hospital, breaking up the monotony that comes along with an extended hospital stay.
The patients weren’t the only ones who enjoyed the visit. The group of eight golfers enjoyed sharing their afternoon with people in the community. The experience was also an eye-opening one for the group. After seeing some of the struggles that these kids face, it made many of the student-athletes realize that many of the things they worry about are trivial in comparison. “I walked away with a freshened perspective--even the most disappointing and frustrating days on the golf course are still pretty good,” said senior golfer, Phil Bagdade.
UA student-athletes make regular visits to Diamond Children’s Medical Center throughout the year, but this is the first visit they were able to collaborate with Shine On to distribute the jars of items to brighten the days of so many youngsters. Other teams are excited to continue on with the visits and look forward to making an impact in the future.