The Mizzou football team isn’t just centering its trip to Dallas around football. The team went to the Dallas Children’s Medical Center to lift the spirits of children in need.
“What you have to understand is that we get as much out of this as what we give back to these kids,” a candid Coach Gary Pinkel told an audience at the medical center. “These kids give us an awful lot, too.”
Senior linebacker Donovan Bonner, a native of the Dallas area, couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of giving back to children in his hometown.
“It means everything you know? Having a chance to have an impact on someone lives, it’s pretty big,” Bonner said.
Coach Pinkel reiterated that it isn’t just his team that has compassion for those in various communities; it starts from the top of the athletic department and trickles all the way down.
“People have to understand that this is not only what Mizzou football players do, but the entire athletic department,” Pinkel said. “Community service is really important, so all student-athletes do this in Columbia, St. Louis, Kansas City and in their communities also.”
Senior tight end Eric Waters shared that he was a patient at a children’s hospital as a child. The visit meant a lot to him. “I know what it feels like to be there,” he admitted.
The Tigers were even set up to do a live broadcast on closed-circuit television within the hospital, allowing patients who might have been too ill for in-room visits to experience the Mizzou visit despite their circumstances.
Coach Pinkel knows that what his team did at the children’s hospital in Dallas was a huge benefit for the youngsters and their families that they visited with. But he also wants his team to see and experience the benefits first-hand as well.
“You learn that when you give to other people, that you receive so much more in your heart in return,” Pinkel said.