On behalf of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, defensive end Trent Murphy and Redskins Cheerleaders visited the Ronald McDonald House Family Room at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on Friday.
The Ronald McDonald House Family Room, located on the fourth floor of Children's National Medical Center in northeast Washington, D.C., was created to make patient and family stays at the hospital a little easier, to provide a distraction and respite from the realities within the oncology and hematology units there.
"It's a really tough place for families to find themselves," said Karen Judson, director of programs with the Ronald McDonald House Charites of Greater Washington.
That's why Friday morning was so special. On behalf of the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, defensive end Trent Murphy, along with Redskins cheerleaders Heather and Chantelle, visited the family room for a couple hours and kicked off the summer in grand fashion.
Laid out on tables were arts and crafts and coloring books. In another room, couches and chairs surrounded board games, adjacent to a TV to play some Madden video games. In the corner of the room, a favorite among the children filtering through with their parents and families, was a photo booth filled with summer themed props and accessories.
"An event like this is great," Judson said. "It's not just a distraction, it really lets the kids feel like they're somewhere else for a few hours and have some fun and relax. We're very grateful to the Redskins organization for helping us plan this and make this happen today."
The room was quickly filled with activity, which prompted snacks to be handed out, too. Kids had the opportunity to make jellyfish creations and some competitive games of Chutes and Ladders broke out. The excitement doubled when Murphy entered the room.
"It's big for me. It's very rewarding," Murphy said. "A lot of times you get so focused and busy with what we do at the facility and trying to improve as a team and playing football with OTAs and working out and you kind of lose sight of who you can impact and what you can do to give back to the community. To be able to be back here, have that reminder, it's huge. Just having any kind of impact on the community is big time."
Redskins defensive lineman Trent Murphy and cheerleaders visited children in the hospital with games, crafts, snacks and a photo booth to kick off the summer.
Murphy had visited the Ronald McDonald House Family Room when he was part of the rookie class two years before, so the day brought back some memories. It also allowed him to use some of the skills he learned as a kid with the patients.
"I have five sisters I can thank for this, but I was teaching one little girl how to braid, which is probably not a lot of defensive ends' strong suit," he said laughing. "We were playing ball, coloring, drawing, reading and [had] some room visits. It was a pretty fun day."
That sentiment was felt by everyone.
"[The children] love meeting the players when they're here, the Redskins cheerleaders today were just great and taking pictures with props," Judson said. "It's really a special treat for them and these kids really need it."