On the team's day off, Trey Burton, Donnie Jones, Cody Parkey and Mark Sanchez spent the afternoon celebrating Halloween at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia with Eagles Care partner Little Smiles ...
The Halloween spirit was in the air on Monday at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia after a special visit from a few Ninja Turtles and Ghostbusters. However, these characters were actually a few familiar faces in disguise.
Trey Burton, Donnie Jones, Cody Parkey and Mark Sanchez kicked off the October holiday dressed in their favorite costumes as they co-hosted a Halloween party with Eagles Care partner Little Smiles, Inc. In the bright atrium of the hospital, the four players signed autographs and took pictures with their newest friends. They also set up "trick-or-treat" stations where they gave out Eagles capes, key chains, pencils, crayons and other goodies to the families at the hospital.
"We have such a good relationship with CHOP and the Eagles, so it makes it fun," Sanchez said. "It seems like every month there's something going on here. Every chance we get to come here and meet some of these kids and kind of take their mind off everything going on in their lives, it gives them a little break whether we talk about football or Halloween costumes. It's great for the players, too, because we take a lot away from this and it keeps everything in perspective."
Sanchez most recently visited CHOP for the hospital's Homecoming on October 9, and other Eagles players spent time with the families at the end of September. These events specifically are ones the players love to be part of because they understand how much one short visit can impact the kids they spend time with.
In their eyes, there is nothing more important than that.
"Obviously, they're in a tight spot and to be able to kind of cheer them up means a lot to us," Jones said. "We're glad to be here and be able to kind of bring some joy.
"You can see as the kids come through the smiles on their faces. You can see the parents' reactions and myself being a parent, I can't imagine what it's like for these parents to see their kids here in this hospital. Any little thing we can do to help out, I know it really means a lot to them and to the children."
Because the four Eagles were dressed in costumes, some of the kids were more excited to meet their favorite characters. They wanted to hear all about the adventures of Leonardo and Raphael and asked about past ghost-catching tales.
It gave the guys something to laugh about and helped them get into character even more. At the end of the day, whatever the Eagles can do to help these families relieve some of their stress is the biggest goal. It's what they aim to do each and every time they visit the hospital.
"We've been so blessed to play a game that we love and we get to do a lot of fun things and have so many opportunities that I think it's important to give back," Sanchez said. "A lot of these kids have the same dreams that all the players on our team had growing up and a lot of them won't be able to realize those dreams because of some of the setbacks they've had in their lives. Any chance we get to encourage them and help them out along the way, I think it's important to do that."
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