The 2016-17 Washington Capitals team visited young patients at MedStar Georgetown University Hospital on Dec. 19.
Video: Caps visit MedStar Georgetown University Hospital
Players divided into groups and spread holiday wishes to children who are either hospitalized or receiving out-patient treatment for serious illnesses including cancer.
They distributed blankets to children through the NHL's The Biggest Assist Happens Off the Ice™ social responsibility program, passed out Capitals Kids Club kits that were provided by Capitals fans through the team's Kids Club kit donation program and handed out hats collected as part of the Capitals recent hat drive with Ellie's Hats.
Hope for Henry, a Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation partner and recipient of funds raised through Hockey Fights Cancer, provided balloons, cupcakes, gifts and a photographer to take family photos during the visit.
In addition, players and patients helped paint Capitals-themed canvas paintings in conjunction with Tracy's Kids, a pediatric art therapy organization. The paintings will be autographed and auctioned off during the Capitals game on Dec. 29 to benefit Tracy's Kids.
About Ellie's Hats
Ellie's Hats collects hats for children undergoing cancer treatment in the hopes that the hats will show the children others are thinking about them. The organization was founded in honor of Ellie, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in the spring of 2013 prior to entering Kindergarten. That fall, she lost most of her hair and wore hats to school each day, expressing her personality through her hat selection. The Capitals partnered with Ellie's Hats for Hockey Fights Cancer and collected more than 450 hats, several of which will be handed out at the hospital visit.
About Hope for Henry
Hope for Henry is reinventing how hospitals care for seriously ill children and their families through innovative programs that entertain, reduce stress and empower children to be active participants in their own care. Since 2003, Hope for Henry has improved the lives of more than 16,000 kids and families at Children's National, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Sinai Hospital of Baltimore and other hospitals around the country.
About Tracy's Kids
Tracy's Kids helps young cancer patients and their families cope with the emotional stress and trauma of cancer and its treatment. Their mission is to ensure that the children and families we serve are emotionally equipped to fight cancer as actively as possible-and prepared for the time when they are cancer free. Tracy's Kids uses art therapy to engage with young patients, their siblings and parents so that they can express feelings and reflect on their treatment experiences. The program employs Master's trained, Board Certified art therapists to address the multi-faceted needs of children with cancer through art and play therapy.