A difficult weekend made better thanks to Coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes…

A difficult weekend made better thanks to Coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes…

Words can’t describe my feelings about Friday’s tragic events in Sandy Hook. The lingering sense of helplessness and sadness for such senseless violence in our world. How do we talk to the children we love? The loss of so many innocent souls with their whole lives ahead of them.

For me, comfort came this weekend from two unusual sources: Mister Rodgers and Coach Urban Meyer.

I know it’s an unusual combination but bear with me…. Mister Rodgers, the iconic creator of Mister Rodgers Neighborhood, knew how to speak with children about difficult subjects. His words many years ago are still poignant today.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

So now the connection to Coach Meyer . I had the opportunity to spend time on Saturday with Coach Meyer, his family and Buckeye players Jack Mewhort and Nick Vannett. In the spirit of giving these “helpers” took their personal time to visit and brighten the day for our cancer and rehabilitation patients. This can be a difficult time of year as many of these children and their families anticipate spending the holidays here at Nationwide Children’s. No media was there for the visit – just our hospital team capturing some tender moments and candid comments from the coach and players.

This is not a one-time occurrence. It’s never publicized but throughout the football season Senior Buckeyes make regular trips to the hospital to meet with patients. This is a long-term tradition of “paying forward” that dates back to Woody Hayes and lives on with Coach Meyer.

As I watched Coach Meyer open a helicopter toy for one our patients (and we know how hard it can be to get all that packing off) I was thinking of Mister Rodgers comment, this was a helper in action. Helping the world one child and one moment at a time.

I think that’s a great message for all of us. At this time of year, and at this difficult time for all of us, it feels healing to put good back in the world. To find a way to help others – whatever moves your heart – find your personal way to pay forward.

Would love to hear what you are doing to spread good out in the world and we’ll share here on Little Things.

Donna Teach
Donna Teach is Chief Marketing & Communication Officer at Nationwide Children's. Her job is to help the hospital feel "connected" – Connected to each other, connected to our patients and their families, referring physicians, the community and the world.

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