After a long week of work that included a disappointing 34-16 loss to the New York Jets, Justin Simmons and a handful of his Denver Broncos teammates decided to use their free time gaining perspective.
“This is something that once you experience it, you won’t forget it,” said Simmons. “This is real life. This is something that we should be pouring into. This is bigger than football.”
On a rainy Tuesday afternoon, Simmons and five other teammates headed to the Children’s Hospital on the Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus.
“You never know how much a hello or a couple minutes of your day could change a families’ perspective on what they’re going through,” added Simmons. “To see how they’re fighting through their situations and their tough times, that inspires me. Not as a football player, but just as a man in life.”
Simmons has made this visit two times before, but this is his first time since becoming a father to a baby girl four months ago.
“This is just a whole different experience now, coming in here and seeing the families. They would give their own lives so their loved ones could be healthy. It was always sad to come in and see the situations, but now that I have my own daughter it’s just unreal.”
The group spent the day visiting several rooms and contributing to a hand-made Thanksgiving-themed art piece. They also passed out small gift bags with Broncos gear. While each child and family has their own unique background and story, they all shared the same smile and expression of gratitude.
“We have a tremendous platform to be able to give back and be able to shed some light on what could be some dark situations,” said Simmons. “If we can spare a couple of hours through our day to just come and brighten some lives, I mean why not? Why wouldn’t you?”