] Today, Christmas came early for young patients at the Boston Medical Center.
However, instead of a man in a red suit delivering presents, it was Boston Bruins Johnny Boychuk
, Tuukka Rask
, and Joe Corvo
who all donned their familiar Black & Gold jerseys to spread some holiday cheer during the club's annual Toy Delivery.
The entire Bruins team broke up into groups and traveled to hospitals where they handed out presents and visited several different patients throughout the hospital.
A tradition started by defenseman Ray Borque in his days as captain, the B's yearly delivery of toys to hospitalized children is now led by Patrice Bergeron
However, all of the players are equally excited to be a part of the day.
"It's a good feeling at this time of year to go out for a visit and make some kids happy, " said defenseman Joe Corvo
It's Corvo's first holiday Toy Delivery with the Bruins and though he was nervous and frantic while shopping for the presents, the blueliner presented a different picture at the hospital today as he interacted well with the kids and made sure everyone had a Bruins souvenir and a smile on their face.
At times, the B's got more than a smile as Corvo recalled that one young child was crying before the Bruins walked in and as soon as they did, he stopped. A little girl named Jeyla even sang a song for the B's.
A boy named Clarence wasn't in his room when the B's stopped in, but he saw them later and was told he had Bruins gifts on his bed waiting for him.
"It makes my day, like all bright," said Clarence of the experience.
Jessica, a mother of a baby girl named Lilly who is being treated at the hospital, was pleased to see what the team was doing.
"Even if you hear about [professional athletes] doing volunteer work, it's amazing to actually see them in the flesh doing it," said Jessica.
Another mother, Kerri from South Boston, agreed. "I think it's nice seeing people that [the kids] put as heroes doing something good for the community and the kids."
Another patient, Chante, was given a delightful surprise when the Bruins walking into her room.
"It made me feel proud of them,," said Chante of seeing the Bruins. "It made me feel good."
Rachele, a child life specialist at the hospital, explained that it makes the kids feel better just by providing a distraction from the crazy hospital environment and something to look forward to. She also explained how the tradition of it helps kids who are there every year around Christmas time.
"[It] shows that the Bruins organization is making a long term effort to be here consistently for these kids every year," said Rachele. "I think that's exciting for [the kids]."
The Bruins all realize how important their visits are and look forward to providing that small comfort each season.
"Some of these kids don't get to go home on Christmas," said Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask
. "And [we] just go out there and cheer [up] their day and hopefully make their life a little easier."--- Amanda Ostuni