Women’s basketball team donates hand-made cards to hospitalized children

Edgar Ayala – Special to the Southern News 

The Southern Connecticut State University women’s basketball team created and donated cards to hospitalized children for charity organization, Cards for Hospitalized Kids.

CFHK is a non-profit charitable program, which mission every year is to “spread hope, joy and magic to hospitalized kids across America through uplifting, handmade cards.”

Head Coach Bert DeSalvo was searching for some community service and stumbled across this worthwhile organization, as they’ve been focused all year on giving back to the community, he said.  He added that they also routinely write letters to soldiers overseas and those battling cancer as well, but when they came across this organization they couldn’t help but take the opportunity to help these kids out.

“As a father of a 2-year-old, I cannot imagine the strength and courage that those parents need and have on a daily basis,” coach said. “They are the true heroes and I hope our cards help their child, if even just a little bit.”

Sydni Lester, a senior on the women’s basketball team, said she felt very humble afterwards that she was able to get the chance to put a smile on someone else’s face.  Lester was once a hospitalized child too, so she spoke from experience as she went down a similar path these these kids went through.

“When I first heard that we were going to give children cards for charity my heart melted,” Lester said. “It was such a great feeling because I was once hospitalized and it brought back memories of how I felt when I received cards from my family.”

In addition, one of the cards that Lester made for the children had the word “strength” on the front to remind them of how strong they were, followed by some words of encouragement on the inside to cheer them up, she said.

Furthermore, Nicole Grossbard, a junior guard on the team, said she loves giving back to people as Coach DeSalvo has helped her reach out to the community more often.

Grossbard, a nursing major, knows what its like for kids to suffer at such a young age, as she sees struggling patients everyday in nursing school.

“Well I’m in nursing school, so I see what the kids go through and it’s really tough for them,” she said.  “Just being in the hospital, I was able to realize a small gesture like just going in and saying good morning, and not bombarding them changes their whole day around. So I think that them receiving a card, especially from a college student who they look up to, was really a good deed.”

The coaching staff and players however, weren’t able to personally visit the children and give them the cards, as the organization is located in Illinois where the cards there are distributed across the country.

“Unfortunately we did not, it’s an organization in Chicago so we weren’t able to personally hand them the cards.”  Coach DeSalvo said.  “I wish we had been there, these types of moments make you realize just how lucky we are.  I try to remind myself and our student-athletes to be grateful because someone always has it 100 times worse.”

Likewise, Grossbard also stated the importance of not being able to be in the presence of the child upon receiving the card.  She said that its takes away the joy in the person when you’re not there to accommodate the child.

“Its hard to do something nice for somebody, when you can’t get to see the reaction and see how they feel about it,” Grossbard said, “but it definitely makes me feel good knowing I helped someone in need.”

More information can be found at southernctowls.com.


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