Redskins safety Kyshoen Jarrett on Monday visited Pediatric Specialists of Virginia in Fairfax County, with the help of Amphora Bakery, to make ginger bread houses with child patients.
In the midst of the holiday season, and with Christmas rapidly approaching, the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation partnered with Amphora Bakery on Monday to provide some festive activities for several children at Pediatric Specialists of Virginia's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders in Falls Church, Va.
Rookie Safety Kyshoen Jarrett partnered with the Redskins Charitable Foundation and Amphora Bakery to decorate Gingerbread Houses with families at Pediatric Specialists of Virginia in Falls Church on Monday, Dec. 21, 2015.
Hosted by Pediatric Specialists of Virginia, Monday's event became a time to decorate ginger bread houses with the help of Redskins safety Kyshoen Jarrett, who, along with his fiancée, Chantel, took their time to build their own sweet take-home creation, helping others do the same.
The young ones, who filtered in and out around the table, are each battling various forms of cancer and blood disorders. But decorating their houses with an NFL player served as a welcome distraction from the purpose of their daily visits.
"It's been a really great morning, and just being able to help the kids and have them smile around the holidays," said Kerrin Pitcher, director of marketing for Amphora Bakery. "They've got a lot things that are on their mind, so [it's] just to take their mind off of their treatment and focus on something fun and festive."
PSV's mission is to care for the children and their families across the full lifespan of treating these disorders, from initial diagnosis to comprehensive treatments and recovery. The team also develops an integrated care plan for each family that allows them to visit one location and access to all the services they need.
Amphora, meanwhile, provided just about everything you could need on or beside a ginger bread house, including the actual structure, which was able to withstand globs of frosting, cereal, peppermints, candies and plastic toys of Santa and reindeer.
"It's great working with the players," Pitcher said. "It's funny because the kids, sometimes they look at them [and] they're nervous at first but once the players sit down they act like kids themselves."
Jarrett, decorating one for the first time, spelled out "HTTR" with some of his frosting on a side of the roof, but could only admire Chantel's work once both of them had finished.
"I started off strong, but didn't finish strong," Jarrett joked.
"I truly enjoyed it," he said. "This is what puts a smile on their faces and that's what I enjoy. Just seeing the positive energy, I'm just enjoying it. It leaves me speechless at times, but you know…as long as they have smiles on their faces, everything is good."
This was the third year Amphora had done this kind of workshop – the first at the pediatric care center – something that began with the help of former Redskins offensive lineman Tyler Polumbus, who attended the last two years at INOVA hospital on behalf of his personal foundation.
Jarrett, who offered out autographs and posed for photos, said gingerbread house making could soon become something he does annually based on his experience Monday.
"I might, I might. Once I begin having kids myself, it might be a tradition in my home," Jarrett said. "I enjoyed this, so it might go a long way."