Eric Godard and Jordan Staal
made a special visit to The Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center on Tuesday afternoon to spend time with the children and learn more about the Center.
“The Children’s Home is a place we haven’t visited this year, so I wanted to go over there to see how the kids are doing,” Godard said.
The visit was Godard’s idea and came to fruition with the help of the Penguins Public Relations staff. Godard frequently volunteers his time to visit children throughout the season.
“It’s for the kids,” Godard explained. “I can’t put my finger on why I like to do these things, but it’s fun to go and play some games and have some fun with the kids.”
Godard and Staal toured the facilities at the Children’s Home and Lemieux Family Center before spending a few hours with the children in various activities, such as finger painting, playing soccer and basketball and pushing the kids on a swing set.
“Finger painting with the kids was pretty fun and they seemed pretty excited about it,” Staal said. “Just kicking a ball around and playing with them on the playground is really fun, just to see their faces light up and just to enjoy this time. It’s neat.”
The Children’s Home, according to Chief executive officer Pam Schanwald, is one of only a few non-profit organizations dedicated to children and their families and promotes wellness and health in a holistic way. It includes an adoption program, a day care for medically fragile children, and a 28-bed pediatric specialty hospital for children that need ongoing medical care and acute care services.
“It’s so tremendous when the community comes out to support us, especially the Penguins and the players that are here today playing and finger painting with the kids - it’s just wonderful,” Schanwald said.
The deed was a small one for Godard and Staal, but it left a big impression on the two players.
“We just came by the Children’s Home and I met a lot of awesome kids who are having fun,” Godard said. “I also met a lot of awesome people who are really putting in their time helping out the kids with all of their needs, so it was a good day.”
“Godard is a great role model,” Staal said. “This is special for the kids and it’s so simple for us to make their day.”