A handful of current and former Houston Texans players delivered baskets of toys, games, books, stuffed animals and other treats to the patients at Children's Memorial Hermann Hospital as part of the Super Baskets of Hope program run by a national nonprofit that delivers comforting goodies to long-term pediatric patients and their parents.
Retired Texans center Chris Myers joined his wife Jenny in leading the delegation, which also included tight end Garrett Graham and his wife, Ericka; and retired offensive guard Wade Smith, and his wife, Rita.
The group donated 200 baskets to the pediatric patients and handed out totes to their parents containing inspirational books, a journal, a special necklace and uplifting music.
Katie Penner, whose daughter, Riley, was born prematurely, said she was pleasantly surprised to discover the bag of goodies near her baby’s incubator in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
“As I held Riley, I got my sister to open each item and I showed them each to my baby,” she said. “Although she may not understand any of what is in the Super Basket of Hope, someday we will be able to explain to her where the bag of goodies came from and the joy it brought to us during such a tough time.”
The Houston chapter of Basket of Hope has been delivering packages to Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital for seven years.
“Super Baskets of Hope is always such a wonderful event for our patients and their parents, bringing cheer and hope to families going through a tough time,” said Alyssa Luksa, manager of child life and expressive therapies at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital. “The children’s faces just lit up when they saw the Houston Texans players, and they rushed over to get autographs and snap photos. The baskets filled with toys and tote bags full of encouraging keepsakes really brightened the day for our patients and their families.