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SmashMouth 12-21-2012 10:59 AM

Lofton, Moore, many other New Orleans Saints make a difference in children's lives
 
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We often tend to gloss over the New Orleans Saints' various community outreach activities. But in the wake of the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., it's more heartwarming than ever to hear all the stories about Saints players using their high profiles to reach out to children in need.

http://media.nola.com/saints_impact/...3021-large.jpg
Lance Moore visits with children this week at a local hospital.
One of the most touching examples was shared this week by Saints linebacker Curtis Lofton, who opened up about the special relationship he had with 11-year-old Lily Anderson. Lily died last weekend after a three-year battle with cancer.

Lofton said he never considered himself a very emotional person, but he admitted that he became extremely close to Lily, whom he first met in 2009 while making visits to Children's Hospital in Atlanta.

"I went into it saying I wasn't going to get attached. But she just melted me," said Lofton, who worked closely with the Rally Foundation to support childhood cancer research during his four years with the Atlanta Falcons.

That first day they met, Lofton said he and Lily colored for about an hour, then she shared her talent for singing with him. They became close over the years, with Lofton spending time with her and her family. Among other activities, Lofton and some of his teammates walked down the runway with the female cancer patients during modeling shows put on by the Rally Foundation.

Earlier this week, Lofton tweeted out a picture of the two of them with the message, "My life (will) be forever changed for knowing you! R.I.P. Lily."

Lofton was one of many Saints making a difference in the lives of children throughout the New Orleans community during the holiday season.

Dozens of players and members of the organization have been diving into various efforts throughout the month, from hospital visits to toy drives to bike giveaways.

Offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod made it to three events Tuesday: a visit to Ochsner Hospital, a bike giveaway with the Marines and the offensive line's annual event where they took 10 children out to eat then surprised them with a shopping trip afterward.

Bushrod said the best part of the shopping trip was that the kids weren't just picking out gifts for themselves but choosing gifts for their loved ones that they normally wouldn't have the opportunity to buy.

"We understand, the time for the holidays, everyone needs a smile on their face. So it's something special that we've done and honestly the kids love it. It's just a great deal," said Bushrod, who said the fulfillment works both ways.

"It was just an all-around good day," Bushrod said. "It was hectic, trying to be at a bunch of different places. But when you got there, man, it was just so well worth it. To see the smiles that you put on kids' faces, when they're in the hospital, they're dealing with different things. To have a room full of Saints players, that kind of brightens up their day and their parents' day. And that's kind of what the holidays are all about."

Center Brian de la Puente, who doesn't have kids, was talking the other day about how visiting the children at various events really has made him appreciate the holiday season on another level.

"It's fun to get out there and see the excitement on their faces and really get in the Christmas spirit," de la Puente said. "It makes Christmas that much more special that you can make a difference, and that's what's exciting and fun about it."

Bless you, boys!

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Rugby Saint II 12-22-2012 02:18 PM

Re: Lofton, Moore, many other New Orleans Saints make a difference in children's lives
 
Seriously, that brought a tear to my eyes. I'm a cancer survivor and this story really touched me.

Utah_Saint 12-22-2012 03:06 PM

Re: Lofton, Moore, many other New Orleans Saints make a difference in children's lives
 
Studies have shown the dramatic affects of happiness and joy on the recovery of sick children and people in general. Visiting a children's hospital may not seem like much for an athlete or celebrity to do, but it's amazing to see how the children react. Even in cases where there isn't much hope of recovery, the child's quality of life is significantly brightened by a visit from their heros.
My appreciation transcends team allegiance and even sport. I volunteer at a local children's hospital. I don't like the Utah Jazz team because I'm a fan of a rival but I love the Utah Jazz players for coming by the hospital to visit the kids. A few of the kids will give the Jazz players a hard time because they might be Laker or Nuggets fans but in the end, the child spends the day laughing and giggling because he got to interact with a professional athlete.
My hat's off to these players and anyone else that goes out of their way to make a sick child smile. God bless them.

Rugby Saint II 12-22-2012 03:28 PM

Re: Lofton, Moore, many other New Orleans Saints make a difference in children's lives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Utah_Saint (Post 467087)
Studies have shown the dramatic affects of happiness and joy on the recovery of sick children and people in general. Visiting a children's hospital may not seem like much for an athlete or celebrity to do, but it's amazing to see how the children react. Even in cases where there isn't much hope of recovery, the child's quality of life is significantly brightened by a visit from their heros.
My appreciation transcends team allegiance and even sport. I volunteer at a local children's hospital. I don't like the Utah Jazz team because I'm a fan of a rival but I love the Utah Jazz players for coming by the hospital to visit the kids. A few of the kids will give the Jazz players a hard time because they might be Laker or Nuggets fans but in the end, the child spends the day laughing and giggling because he got to interact with a professional athlete.
My hat's off to these players and anyone else that goes out of their way to make a sick child smile. God bless them.

I'm proud of you. Way to go.:itsgood:

QBREES9 12-22-2012 09:11 PM

Re: Lofton, Moore, many other New Orleans Saints make a difference in children's lives
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Utah_Saint (Post 467087)
Studies have shown the dramatic affects of happiness and joy on the recovery of sick children and people in general. Visiting a children's hospital may not seem like much for an athlete or celebrity to do, but it's amazing to see how the children react. Even in cases where there isn't much hope of recovery, the child's quality of life is significantly brightened by a visit from their heros.
My appreciation transcends team allegiance and even sport. I volunteer at a local children's hospital. I don't like the Utah Jazz team because I'm a fan of a rival but I love the Utah Jazz players for coming by the hospital to visit the kids. A few of the kids will give the Jazz players a hard time because they might be Laker or Nuggets fans but in the end, the child spends the day laughing and giggling because he got to interact with a professional athlete.
My hat's off to these players and anyone else that goes out of their way to make a sick child smile. God bless them.

Good people Good hearts !


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