‘They have hearts that are just unbelievable’ | Tennessee football players surprise patients at ETCH

Vol football players help decorate East Tennessee Children’s Hospital’s courtyard for Halloween.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:36 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - This week is a bye week for the Tennessee Volunteers football team, and some of the players were using that extra time to volunteer in the community.

On Wednesday, Vols football players showed up unannounced to the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital.

“They have hearts that are just unbelievable,” said Cheryl Allmon, Director of Volunteer Services for the hospital.

The goal was to help decorate the hospital’s courtyard for Halloween, and to brighten up the kids’ day.

“You get an opportunity to come out, and put a smile on someone’s face. And give back, we’re really not doing much,” said Jacob Warren, a tight end on the football team.

Tennessee has a big game at LSU in a week and a half, but Warren said this was a good opportunity for the players to get their mind off football by putting up decorations, lights and interacting with the kids.

“Break the ice, and get to know them a little bit,” said Warren. “Get to know their name, ask them about school and everything like that. And they start to brighten up, and they really enjoy hanging out with us, and we enjoy hanging out with them the same way.”

Now the kids can enjoy the final product.

“Ms. Becka here, her room looks out on the courtyard,” said Allmon. “So, she’s going to be able to look out the window and see all these blow-ups that Home Depot brought in for us, and that the players put up. So it just couldn’t be any better than that.”

Allmon said the kids were huge fans of the players, and to have them at the hospital means the world to them.

“No wonder they’re winning, they have winning hearts,” she said.

Warren said the players love doing stuff like this, and they plan on doing more closer to the holiday season.